Oliver Matte sees his path toward a college degree as a way to better himself and the world around him. “[Through] a higher education, I'll have the skills and knowledge necessary to propel myself to the level where I can truly reach out and help....That has been my main motivation, and will continue to be my motivation until I succeed,” he says.
While he anticipates the cost of his education will act as an obstacle, he doesn’t allow that to deter him. Instead, he focuses on getting his education and emphasizes his willingness “to work hard to get where [he] need[s] to go.” After his high school graduation, he plans to study technology and aspires to become an artificial intelligence engineer.
Oliver is currently a senior at Eastview High School, where he participates in Percussion Ensemble, and is one of two drum majors in the marching band. He also takes part in school musicals, and has played some feature roles. For his achievements, he was awarded the Dartmouth Book Award, which is given to students who exhibit “intellectual curiosity and love for learning, as well as overall accomplishments throughout their high school career.” Outside of school, he serves his community as a volunteer at the local children's hospital.
Last July, Oliver was one of 152 students invited to attend the Hispanic Scholarship Fund’s 2018 Youth Leadership Institute (YLI) at Princeton University. YLI is a four-day, overnight conference that gives outstanding Latino rising high school seniors the practical tools they need to set a course for success in college and career. He says that the HSF network allows him to tap into the pride he has for his heritage and the strong values he holds, all while preparing him for the future. “In being part of this program, I am not hiding where I come from, but instead, showing it because it is a part of me, and it matters,” he says.
He encourages other students who are considering college to “aim high” in the early stages of their academic career, in order to set themselves up for success in the competitive college education setting.