Currently, at Providence St. Mel, 12th grader Mario Hoover known as Mr. 36 years old.
“It was wonderful,” he said. “When I first saw the scores, I was surprised. I was surprised, amazed.”
That’s a feat less than 1% of students nationwide have achieved. His mother couldn’t believe it.
“This is number 36! I was like, is Mario real?” Zippora Collins said.
The 16-year-old won scores on his second attempt on the test, which includes math, science, English and writing. The first time he got the number 29.
“It’s great that it happened,” Hoover said. “But I never intended, like, I never imagined that I would get a perfect score.”
Principal Timothy Ervin, a graduate student at Providence St. Mel, said the absolute grade was the highest any student had achieved in the private school’s 42-year history, adding that since 1978, 100% of graduates have received college scholarships. .
“This year we had a senior who scored 34 on the ACT,” says Ervin. “We’ve got students earning 34 years old, 35 years old, 33 years old.”
Hoover began attending the famous West Side School in third grade when his East Garfield Park public school was closed along with 49 other schools by the city. His mother didn’t want him entangled in gangs fighting for territory on the way to work.
“I’m from this neighborhood, so I know what’s going on,” his mother said.
Mario’s mother credits her son’s teachers and the boy’s hard work with getting good grades, which the boy hopes will help him fulfill his dream of becoming a neurosurgeon.
Along with his 3.9 GPA and four advanced classes, the teen also had time to become a statewide musician. He also ran track while volunteering at the neighborhood Boys and Girls Club and a local hospital.
“Doing the best I can to advance my academic and professional career to inspire others to do the same,” he said. “Because once you have that foundation, you can inspire people to change the world, and you can change the world too.”
This summer, Mario will participate in a two-week program at the University of Oxford in the UK for high school students. After Mario finishes his senior year and graduates, he hopes to get into an Ivy League college.
Columbia University is at the top of his list – and he certainly hopes that a perfect score of 36 will get him noticed.
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