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Jace Lorenzo

2095

Bold Points

1x

Finalist

Bio

I am a high school senior with autism and a passion for art, programming, and learning. I have been drawing for about 4 years and have recently taken up learning how to code in my free time. Other than that, I like animals (especially canines and reptiles), video games, and storytelling. In fact, the stories I desire to create take up a large portion of my daily thoughts. I will be a first-generation college student once I start. One day, I hope to get a job using programming in either web or software development while still being able to make time for my personal endeavors.

Education

Mission Heights Preparatory High School

High School
2020 - 2024

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

    Bachelor's degree program

  • Majors of interest:

    • Computer Science
    • Computer Programming
    • Computer and Information Sciences, General
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Computer Software

    • Dream career goals:

      Arts

      • Divine Art Institute

        Painting
        2021 – 2023

      Public services

      • Volunteering

        Mission Heights Preparatory High School — CGYA Plant Waterer
        2023 – Present
      • Volunteering

        Valley Humane Society — Dish Washer
        2022 – 2023

      Future Interests

      Advocacy

      Volunteering

      Philanthropy

      First-Gen Futures Scholarship
      In the summer following my junior year of high school, a programming language called Python caught my attention. Drawn in by the desire to learn programming, along with the promise that Python is a more beginner-friendly language compared to others, I wanted to try and learn it. My school didn’t have any classes on the subject, so I had to teach myself using the internet. I managed to get through a 6-hour tutorial on YouTube and created a handful of small terminal programs, ranging from a simple calculator to a short choose-your-own-adventure. I even attempted to make a password manager, complete with encryption and customizable GUI elements. Unfortunately, due to the size of the project compared to what I was used to, I was unable to finish it. Soon, however, I would set my sights on another programming language: C++. This time, the allure was the beautiful syntax and the promise of a steep difficulty curve compared to Python. Determined to learn this difficult language, I began the process of following tutorials and making my own small programs using what I learned. Even now, I’m still learning more about the language, but it’s a process that I’ve grown to enjoy. Before I picked up Python, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do in the future. I was actually not looking forward to having to look for colleges because of this. My parents actually suggested that I could get into technology, seeing as it’s a field that is in constant need of people. I was uncertain, but once I began using Python - and especially when I started learning C++ - I discovered a fondness for programming. I realized how much I enjoy the process of solving problems and creating things using code. This is the reason why I want to pursue college: because this is a field I see myself thoroughly enjoying, from both an analytical and creative standpoint. Unfortunately, because neither of my parents has a bachelor’s degree, the help they have been able to give has been limited. Luckily, I have been getting plenty of help from my school. They have a program called AVID that specializes in preparing students for college and work. They have us do all sorts of things, such as fill out scholarship and college applications, and they teach us all we need to know about the process and what we need in order to have a successful college career. It’s because of these programs, as well as the importance placed on things like the ACT, SAT, and AP & dual enrollment classes, that have allowed me to feel confident in my ability to not only be able to go to college, but to flourish in the environment.
      Marian Haley Memorial Scholarship
      For me, there are two kinds of education. There is a formal education, one that is given by instructors in school. This, I feel, is the most common definition of education that people use. A formal education can help you improve in areas that you may not have the most knowledge of, it can help you strengthen what you do know, and it can even introduce you to things that you would never have otherwise known you would be good at or enjoy. And with how broad an education like this can be, even if students may be better in some subjects than others, it still helps to create individuals with a more rounded set of skills. Indeed, a formal education is important, but I feel there is a different type of education that is just as important, if not more so. This type of education is what I call ‘personal education’. One’s personal education is just that: highly personalized. It’s focused mainly on the things one is either talented at or interested in. While a formal education can help broaden one’s horizons, a personal education can help develop specialized skills unique to the individual and strengthen their bond with their craft, whatever it may be. Without a personal education driven by interest and ability, not only would there most likely not be people doing the jobs necessary for today’s life, but a majority of people would probably never explore the things that they are passionate about. A personal education, in my opinion, is looser than a formal one, with the definition ranging from studying a topic intensely to simply doing an activity in one’s free time. Both types of education are important. You cannot have a personal education without having first explored the broad spectrum of a formal education, and you cannot have fulfillment and purpose without a personal education. In the future, I hope to go to college in order to obtain a formal education in Software Development. I hope to work as a software developer or engineer for a moderately-sized company. However, I also intend to continue my personal education in not only computer programming but also visual arts and culinary arts. Even when I finish school and enter the workforce, I want to make time in my life to pursue these educational endeavors, because without them I wouldn’t feel like I have a fulfilling life. This is why I categorize education into these groups; because I feel both are important to me and my future.
      Netflix and Scholarships!
      One of my favorite shows on Netflix is a short, slice-of-life comedy called Kotaro Lives Alone. Its episodes are short and sweet, and the story is guaranteed to either make you giddy with joy or crumble with sorrow. I would say this is one of those shows that I cannot sit still during, often having to pause so that I don’t miss anything while this happens. Since the episodes are largely episodic, the only major changes to the status quo are characters being added. Because of this, there’s no major overarching threat to worry about. The episodes themselves are split up into various mini-episodes, about 4 or so per episode, that show a snippet of the lives of Kotaro and his friends, new and old. The types of stories told through these snippets range from Kotaro’s past and trauma, to the circumstances of the other supporting characters, to goofy childhood shenanigans. With the inhabitants of the apartment complex, the various students in the Star Class, as well as a few other miscellaneous characters, there is no shortage of fun and quirky characters in Kotaro Lives Alone. Some notable characters are Karino, one of the main 4 adults residing as Kotaro’s neighbors and burnt-out manga producer; lawyer Kobayashi, who is tasked with sending Kotaro payments of money under the guise of ‘a very generous benefactor’; and Ryota, Kotaro’s 18-year-old friend with a passion for photography and stargazing. Of course, this show isn’t centered around any of these characters, is it? Kotaro is a 4-year-old boy who has recently moved into Shimizu Apartments to attempt to escape from his abusive father. He lives by himself and attends Shimizu Kindergarten. Throughout the show, many quirks of Kotaro’s are revealed to be trauma responses from his earlier childhood, such as his insistence on bathing every day and his adversity to having his picture taken. One of my favorite parts of the show, however, is the fact that the producers don’t forget that Kotaro is still just a kid. Many episodes revolve around Kotaro coming to childish conclusions that would be normal for someone his age, despite the fact that he’s had to mature so much. Although there are a few parts where the comedy takes precedent, the show never forgets its slightly disturbing premise, with some episodes either diving deep into either Kotaro’s or the other characters’ pasts and presents or leaving a seemingly meaningless one-liner that hits the viewer right in the feels (in one episode, Kotaro remarks that he didn’t realize being born was a good thing). All in all, Kotaro Lives Alone is a must-watch for those with a soft spot for slice-of-life shows. It’s such a perfect combination of both comedic and heartbreaking that you can’t help but be drawn in by just the first episode.
      Bright Lights Scholarship
      During the summer following my junior year, I started to become interested in programming. I started by watching tutorials on Python, following along with the informational videos to better understand the program. Then, I started using websites like code warriors to practice writing code that did stuff. Before I knew it I was even attempting to create a password manager from scratch with the language, although I never got around to finishing it before I started trying to learn how to code in C++. Throughout all of this, I’ve learned that I love coding. However, unlike my other past interests, I have no issues envisioning computer programming as my job. I actually see myself enjoying this kind of work, unlike my other hobbies which I don’t think I would enjoy outside of them being just that. Therefore, I hope that, in the future, I will be able to get a degree in either Software Engineering, Software Development, or Computer Science and work as either a software developer or a web developer. Anything that has to do with making things using code, I’m down for it. I hope to have a job that I’m able to work remotely for with decent enough pay to be able to pursue my other hobbies on the side. I don’t necessarily want to work for a big or popular company, as I don’t much care about the prestige of the job; I’m alright working for a relatively unknown employer as long as I get to do what I love. However, one thing that may get in the way of this is the cost of college. As much as I would love for this to be my future, many colleges cost upwards of 80,000 dollars per year, which adds up to very high prices very quickly. Even with need-based aid, I don’t think it will be enough for me to be able to comfortably apply to colleges without worrying if the debt will be with me for the rest of my life. Thankfully, that’s where this scholarship comes in. Any amount of help that I can get towards a college education is less worry that I have about being able to finance an education. If I can get enough money pooled in scholarships, I may just be able to get through college having almost nothing to worry about in the financial department, which is my goal. Even if I don’t get very many other scholarships, getting this scholarship means just a little extra help in an area where I need it the most.
      I Can Do Anything Scholarship
      My dream version of my future self is a person who is likeable, knows how to be there for others when they need it, and is able to be open when they're not doing well without fear of being a burden to others.
      Taylor Swift ‘1989’ Fan Scholarship
      When I was younger, I had a handful of CDs that my mom would let me play whenever we were in the car. I don’t remember much about the other disks. However, I do remember that my go-to pick was the 1989 album by Taylor Swift. I remember enjoying all the songs that were on that CD, from ‘Welcome to New York’, to ‘Clean’. Listening to the album reminds me of this, so with the album having that level of sentimental value to me - as well as the music just being very good - it’s difficult to pinpoint a single favorite. In my opinion, a lot of the songs from that album are A-tier. Therefore, I’ve decided to pick two that I find to be the most enjoyable to me: ‘Blank Space’ and ‘Bad Blood’. ‘Blank Space’ is one of the first Taylor Swift songs I ever heard, and I believe that my love for the song is the reason my mom bought me the album CD in the first place. I would always listen to the music video on Youtube, and I loved when that song came on the CD. Listening back to this song in the present, I still feel that same kind of love I did then. For starters, the song itself is really enjoyable, regardless of my history with it. I am sure that if I had discovered this song today, it would quickly become my weekly song hyper fixation. I love the rhythm of it, and the turn at the end of the second verse is always fun to listen to. ‘Bad Blood’ was a very close second in terms of my favor. I believe I discovered it from listening to the CD, and I fell in love. The chorus definitely hits, and the last verse before the final chorus is so good. The transition from that last line of the bridge to the final chorus is amazing. I regularly go back to this song because it’s such a good one. On the more sentimental side of things, hearing these songs, or any songs from that album, reminds me of those car rides with my mom. Whether we were going to school or the store or out of town, I loved playing this album and these songs in particular. My love for these songs in the present isn’t tied to what the songs mean, but rather the memories these songs are tied to.