As the youngest of four brothers, it is no surprise that Alan Huerta was looking ahead to how to pay for college earlier than many of his peers. Now, Alan is graduating not only from Sarah E. Goode STEM Academy with his high school diploma, but also from Daley College with his Associate in Computer Science – all before he turns 18.
When he was looking at high schools, Sarah E. Goode was appealing because of its rigorous academics and Early College program in partnership with Daley College, where students could earn college credits for free. A focused and driven student, Alan already knew he had an interest in computer science, so taking classes to put him closer to a college degree was an easy decision.
“I was initially interested in software engineering, but have lately become interested in cybersecurity. That’s the great thing about studying computer science – it’s really a versatile field,” said Alan.
Alan was busy both in and out of the classroom. As a high school and college student, he was involved in the Phi Theta Kappa honor society at Daley College, and the National Honor Society, Student Council, volleyball team, cross country team, and Makers, Artists, Gamers Club at Goode. He spent a summer as a Yale Young Global Scholar, and participated in “Students Run Chicago,” where he trained to run marathons – so far has completed two marathons, three half marathons, and many other races.
After applying to 13 universities, Alan has decided to attend the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, earning an academic scholarship that completely covers his tuition. That means that combined with the associate degree he earned for free at Daley College, Alan is not going into any debt to earn his Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science in U of I’s College of Engineering.