Luis Matos came to the U.S. from Venezuela when he was 15 years old due to family reasons, moving to Chicago to live with his uncle. He attended Kelly High School, and always knew that college was in his future. When he was a junior in high school, his counselor told him about the Star Scholarship, which motivated him to keep his grades high so he would have a full scholarship for the first two years of college as an option.

Once he learned he qualified for the scholarship, Luis decided to attend Truman College because it was the closest City College to his home. Interested in computer science, Luis had his sights set on transferring to a four-year university once he completed his associate degree.

As a high-achieving student, Luis was able to be a part of the Transfer Scholars program, a City Colleges program that supports students as they go through the transfer process, and gives them the chance to gain early admission to top schools across the country. Luis urges other City Colleges students to look into the program, saying “The Transfer Scholars program is completely worth it. You know where you’ve been accepted a whole year ahead of time, so you can think about it carefully, weigh your options, visit the campuses, and make the best decision.”

Luis transferred to the Illinois Institute of Technology in the fall of 2019 and is studying Applied Cybersecurity. He has also been working with JPMorgan Chase & Co as a software engineering apprentice, and was recently hired full-time as a software engineer. Luis found the apprenticeship through the partnership that City Colleges has with JPMorgan Chase.

Luis was excited to be named the Truman College valedictorian for the class of 2020, having finished his classes in the summer of 2019. He isn’t exactly sure how he will celebrate, but is looking forward to the virtual ceremony on June 27th.

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