Lukas Negron has had plenty of academic accomplishments, and he’s added two more in recent weeks.
For his accomplishments, he has been selected as the WesBanco Student of the Week.
Negron, a senior at the Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science at Western Kentucky University, was recently named a finalist in the National Merit Scholarship Competition.
To become a finalist, a semifinalist and their school must submit a detailed scholarship application, which provides information about the student’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment and honors and awards received.
Negron is also a candidate for the United States Presidential Scholars.
The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars’ review committee selects scholars annually based on their academic achievement, personal characteristics, leadership and service activities, in addition to the quality and content of their essays.
Negron, who attended Western Hills his first two years of high school, scored a 36 on the ACT, the highest possible score for the test.
He applied to about 10 colleges and has been accepted at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), his first choice, where he plans to study electrical engineering. The school has an acceptance rate just under 8%.
Negron is the son of Laura and Angel Negron. His brother Marcus, a sophomore at WHHS, will attend Gatton next year, and his cousin Angela Negron is a student at WKU.
SJ: Why did you decide to go to Gatton?
Negron: One of the biggest reasons was I had taken all the math classes at my high school. Gatton had research opportunities, study-abroad programs. It was more of a challenge than if I had stayed at Western Hills. I wanted to push myself.
SJ: Do you prefer math or science?
Negron: I like both math and science. I like competition math. I find it fun. My favorite classes that I take are engineering classes, and the combined math and science.
SJ: When did you know you had an aptitude for math?
Negron: My mom had suspicions earlier, but when I was in the sixth grade I did my first match competition, and I placed first.
SJ: What do you like most about competition math?
Negron: So before doing competition math, math had always been a chore. You just learned an equation and plugged in numbers. Competition math was creative. You found your own solutions and used problem solving. I felt it to be as creative use of math. It was much more interesting than plugging numbers into equations.
SJ: How has it been transitioning to online classes?
Negron: Most of the classes have been pretty much the same. The online lectures have been surprisingly similar to what they are when they’re in person, especially my math class and history class. They way they’re teaching is similar.
SJ: What appealed to you about MIT?
Negron: I visited the summer before last, and really the atmosphere was so different than any other school I’d visited and the ones since then that I have visited. It’s very intriguing. The personality of the school is very energetic. It seems more proactive and innovative.