Through Destination: Graduation, Eduardo was able to access college preparation courses that raised his SAT scores and helped him achieve his dream of pursuing a college education. United Way recently sat down with the Destination: Graduation all-star.

UWMD: Tell me a little bit about your experience with Destination: Graduation.

Eduardo: I started Destination: Graduation through my Princeton Review class, to help me prepare for my SAT test, and that’s exactly what it did! It got me a higher score than I could ever imagine [laughs] and landed me a ton of opportunities for college.

UWMD: Are your parents crazy-proud of you?

Eduardo: Just a little bit!

UWMD: What do you want to study when you go to college?

Eduardo: Software engineering.

UWMD: Oh man, you’re gonna have a million jobs available to you.

Eduardo: That’s the plan!

UWMD: So what do you wish that adults could see more clearly about education in Dallas?

Eduardo: It was a real eye opener for me to go into high school, because at times I felt like I was more of a grade on a sheet than a person who wants to learn.

UWMD: How would you encourage people to see the student behind the number?

Eduardo: I think that we should break barriers between students and teachers. You know, I see more teachers worried about dress code than things that matter, and I want that focus to change. I really liked my pre-calculus teacher because he went into detail in every class and made it a fun experience – he just wanted to connect with students. And that helped me learn.

UWMD: Destination: Graduation is one way that United Way tries to improve education. What is it about this program that you might change, so that we can get better?

Eduardo: Well, you’ve seen how the program has helped me, but I think the only thing I would change is to bring more funding into the program. If we’re more involved as a community, more things will get done. More students will learn. We can pay teachers more.

UWMD: I think it’s great you’re so proactive about your passions. What else are you involved in?

Eduardo: I’m part of a technology student association. It’s basically a club that features all kinds of different events, and I just participated in one in February and I produced a song using digital software. I only got fourth. But last year I won third, and made it to state!

UWMD: How do you go about creating a song?

Eduardo: I just come up with a beat in my head, and that beat transforms into the music producing program, and I keep building on it from that.

UWMD: A lot of kids steer clear of STEM, and that seems to be your sweet spot. How did that happen?

Eduardo: I’ve always loved computers especially, and I’m so glad that Dallas schools had the technology to expose me to computers from a very young age. That just developed my love.

Eduardo will be attending Arizona State University in the fall.