Why did you apply to IMSA? - Yair Guerrero '21 - Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

Why did you apply to IMSA? – Yair Guerrero ’21

Yair Guerrero ’21

Aurora, IL

College Selection: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) / Area of Study: Aerospace Engineering

When I was applying to IMSA my freshmen year I was aware of its accomplishments and ranking. If I am honest it is what initially drove me to apply. Because I thought to be successful I had to push myself to be the best I could be. And I knew a school like IMSA would academically push me like no other. But IMSA is a lot more than just their academic rigor.

Academically, the content of the classes you can take far exceeds most high schools. But their approach to teaching is what makes IMSA so unique. Every class has a discussion and inquiry-based learning. At first, it was a shock to me but this method made me a better problem solver, communicator, and leader.

In addition to academics, I think the extracurriculars are just as important as the academics when considering IMSA. There is a club for truly everyone on campus. I am currently the President of Alma Latina, a member of the Varsity Soccer team, along with other clubs. The extracurriculars are all student-led, so every student understands the stress of attending IMSA. So many of these clubs host events with games, food, and other stress-relieving activities. The IMSA community is always looking out for each other and encouraging others to be involved in their passions.

And while the events and classes look different because of the global Covid-19 pandemic, to no surprise IMSA has adapted and created an experience that still creates leaders of the future. Academics have tried out new platforms to engage students and promote asynchronous learning that I expect to be used in the future to help students master concepts. And clubs have explored many new types of events and topics that will positively change how clubs interact with the students. As the president of my club, I have learned how to better reach out to students and create more engaging and fun events for all students.

Even though online learning has been tough, because the community at IMSA is so well-connected students are constantly reaching out to others and supporting one another. Every day my roommates and I call each other, talk about our days, and even work on homework together. IMSA students have adapted and created a virtual community even stronger than before.