Gavin Swartz is not your typical scholar.
As a senior at DePaul College Prep (3633 N. California Ave.) in their Honors program, Swartz confessed early on in our interview that education is the means but not the end for him.
“I don’t love schooling. But it must be done to excel in life, I guess,” he said.
I talked with Swartz over the phone about his new outlook in light of being awarded one of the nine ComED STEM Scholarships (for science, technology, engineering and math) offered to students at DePaul College Prep (the first year this scholarship was offered), what’s helping him through his senior year and because he’s a resident of Logan Square, it’s an absolute requirement to know his favorite place to eat.
LS: So if you’re not all that into schooling, what drives you? What are you really into?
GS: As much as I enjoy the challenge of learning, I’m active in three sports at the moment; cross-country, track and bowling. Those I love, and they keep me pretty busy.
LS: I was always jealous of long-distance runners. I’m sure the scholarship application process was no small feat. What did it take to complete?
GS: I needed two teacher recommendations from STEM fields at my school, which wasn’t hard to find. The essay about why I think I should be awarded the scholarship was a little more difficult. I guess that’s standard fare as far as scholarships go?
LS: What are some of your passions beyond being gifted major scholarships?
GS: Building computers, hardware in particular. I run an Intel 6700 at 5.2 GHz, 16 GB of RAM and an RX 480 graphics card right now.
LS: Pretty intense. Is that one of the keys to you making it through senior year?
GS: That and some goals I’ve set in athletics. In cross-country, I’d like to make 18 minutes in my 5k.
LS: Now talk to me about your favorite Logan Square eatery. You can’t live around here without having one.
GS: Probably my favorite place to eat is Buona Terra. It’s right down the street from me, and I know the owners. I go there all the time, and my go-to is the bolognese.
LS: You, my friend, are headed in the right direction. My wife and I love that place. The rigatoni is a part of me now. Just so we know exactly how you plan to change the world, what is your dream project?
GS: I’d love to be a part of creating internet access everywhere. I don’t understand why this isn’t a bigger priority in our world. Essentially, I’d like to be a part of putting a browsing device in every hand.
Gavin’s work in AP Computer Science Principles and as a leader in the Robotics Club is one of the key reasons he was chosen for this scholarship. As a participant in DePaul University’s Actuarial Science Academy this past summer, he’s living proof that involvement pays off.
Good luck to Gavin in all of his pursuits, from cross-country to internet equity and beyond.