My Name is Hernan Perez. I am a 15-year-old living in San Diego living with my 2 brothers, and sister, along with my mother and father. I attend e3 Civic High, a unique high school located downtown where I am currently a sophomore. Shortly after starting my sophomore year, I found that the majority of my time was devoted to school work studying for my 2 AP classes, and being part of my school’s ambassador team where I had to make time to give tours of the school to incoming scholars and helping with school activities. In the beginning, I had trouble managing my workload. However, now with the school year almost at the end, I have learned to better manage my time allowing me to make time for the things I love: guitar and computer science.
My passion for music started early in the pandemic when I often found myself bored at home having nothing to do. While laying on my bed I found myself listening to music which would always take my mind off how bored I was, and would make an hour feel like seconds. I soon began to see videos of people doing covers of songs in an acapella form and later singing accompanied by guitar. This spark of inspiration started my love for music as I saved all my money to buy my first guitar. Not knowing anything about the guitar made it a very difficult journey for me as in the beginning I struggled to even press on the strings to play a chord. My patience during this period was really tested, as after a few weeks of consistent practice I could not play a chord. I soon began to doubt myself, but my father who has always been very supportive of me pushed me to continue and now looking back at it do not think I could have continued without his support of him. After a few months of learning guitar, my brother soon began to find interest in music as well, and now after showing him all I know he also can play and is even practicing to sing.
My enthusiasm for computer science began very early in life as I played video games during summer or after school and like all kids wanted to be a video game developer. However, in those days I had no access to a computer and my elementary school did not offer any classes in computer science. My ambition for learning how things work and function lead me to take matters into my own hands and would read books and watch videos on game development. Not understanding any of the material I took a break from my mission of understanding video games. Soon after going virtual during my 8th-grade year because of Covid, I decided to learn a new skill which is when I stumbled on HTML a coding language used to design websites. I soon found a free boot camp online which allowed me to learn simple HTLM code and how to make a simple website with images and text. It wasn’t until high school that access to computer science classes was offered. This is where I learned about other coding languages. Now having access to a school computer that could run better programs is when I was able to develop a better understanding of how computers work and how programs are designed.
Earlier this year my counselor reached out to me and nominated me along with other high-achieving scholars to enroll in the A Bridge For Kids program which was followed by more investigation excited me as the thought of having additional support financially and a personal mentor alongside me would allow me to reach a peak of performance not seen before as my current financial situation often limits how much I could accomplish. Followed by the pandemic I and my family have seen some hardships, which with the help of other organizations have helped us ride out the pandemic and helped us get back on our feet. That time, made me thankful for what I did have and not what I didn’t have. All in all, being part of the program would allow me to make costly purchases of necessities such as a personal computer, a coding boot camp, school supplies, or allow me to purchase a new guitar that both I and my brother can use to someday begin creating our own music.