Miguel Padilla isn’t your average high school senior. The teenager, son of two Mexican immigrants, is now one of 10 people in the world to earn a perfect score on the Advanced Placement Computer Science-A exam out of a sea of 58, 141 test takers.
“It shows others within the community that people are capable of something more and should aspire to do more,” the Harmony School of Innovation at Fort Worth student told NBC Latino.
Post graduation, Padilla aspires to attend the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology to fuel his dream of working in artificial intelligence and machine learning. His computer science and mathematics teacher Angélica Garcia believes he’s well on his way to future success.
“He is not only a very bright student, very talented, hard-working and dedicated, he has a big heart that distinguishes him from others,” she said. “He wants to help everyone like his classmates. He is always willing to help others with a big smile on his face, and he is humble with his abilities.”
More notable to Padilla’s mother Maria is his ability to influence Latinos everywhere in the wake of his latest achievement. “I want my children to know our culture and spend time with my family,” said the proud mom, who frequently takes her son to Mexico. “My son can give so much to our Latino community!”