Miami High Hit Questbrige Gold: Carlos Salcerio


Carlos celebrating matching to Yale

By Paola Arriaza, Staff Writer

You may have seen senior Carlos Salcerio walking in the hallowed halls of Miami High, talking with his friends between classes, or in the debate room practicing for his next tournament. Next year you won’t be seeing Carlos at MHS because he’ll be in New Haven, Connecticut, studying at Yale University with a full scholarship from Questbridge.

Questbridge is a national nonprofit organization that tries to connect low-income and first-generation students with partner colleges and universities. Carlos explained that the hardest part of matching with Questbridge is once you find out you’re a finalist, you must rank the schools you want and prepare essays for them all in the span of 2 weeks.

“This process makes you decide between quantity and quality. I chose the latter of the two. So, although I only applied to a few schools, my essays were stronger than if I had applied to many,” stated Carlos.

When asked why he thinks he got into Yale, Carlos said, “Sadly the SAT is really important, and I think my score was relatively good.”

But high-achieving students should remember that they are more than just a score, and Carlos had more to offer Yale University. “Without a good personal essay, you become just a number to admissions officers and lose your sense of self,” explained Carlos.

While working on college applications, students often make the mistake of altering themselves to fit into what they think schools want from them. “However,” Carlos elucidated, “it’s really important to be yourself during the application process, so that schools know if you align with their values.”

Clearly Carlos checked off the boxes of Yale’s core values featured on their website: “commitment to common good, diversity, compassion, and growth and learning.”

During his time at Miami High, Carlos has done a lot of growing. When he first started high school, he did not consider himself a good student. But Carlos didn’t let challenges stop him. He went on to take 15 different AP classes and passed them all with excellence. He is seen as one of the top students in 12th grade.

In addition to maintaining stellar grades, Carlos is Vice President for debate and LLHS (Law and Leadership Honor Society). He is also an active member of the chess team and just placed 5th in this year’s US Chess National K-12 Championship.

Carlos explained that his biggest form of motivation is trying to be better than he was yesterday, no matter how small the change may be. “I try to compete with myself and continue raising my ceiling,” he said.

When asked about his future at Yale, Carlos explained that he plans to pursue a major in biochemistry. He is really interested in researching CRISPR and gene editing. When asked where he sees himself in ten years Carlos responded, “Better than I am now, wherever that may be.”

Carlos noted that once he’s off at Yale, he thinks he’s going to miss his family the most. “I still have family in Cuba, and now that I’m going off to Yale, I feel like there’s an even bigger wall between us,” he stated.

However, he is still extremely excited and grateful to be going to Yale next fall. “It doesn’t feel real,” he said. “I feel like somebody is going to come and wake me up from this dream.”

Carlos and Ginelle posing with Mrs. Puentes, Dr. Hueck, Mrs. Munguia, and Dr. Denight after matching with Questbridge.