Polk State Collegiate High School student headed to MIT

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Sergio Perez has always been a nose to the grindstone kind of guy, hoping his hard work in academics would pay off. Now it has.

The Polk State Collegiate High School student will soon get a high school diploma and an associate’s degree.

Now he has been admitted to his dream school - world-renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT.

Ever since Sergio was in fifth grade, he has wanted to go to MIT. His mom, who was born in Cuba, gave him this advice.

“I want you to focus and study,” Belkis Porro told him.

He did. Sergio was a straight-A student, year-in and year-out.

Last fall, it was finally time to apply to colleges. Life being what it is, it threw him and his family a curveball. His mom and dad broke up.

“Honestly, it was just motivation to get through and apply,” Sergio told FOX 13.

“Just my mom being there and all the support of everyone around me, keeps you focused and motivated.”

So, out went his applications to some of the most prestigious universities in the country. Recently, he got an email from MIT. It was a letter of acceptance.

“I screamed,” he told FOX 13. “My mom screamed. We were just (overcome) with emotion. I realized it just how quickly someone’s life can change with an e-mail.”

His principal at Polk State Collegiate High School says Sergio has more than just a sharp mind. He has a warm heart.

“He is really engaged here in everything he can possibly get involved in,” said Rick Jefferies.

Sergio tutors other students in math, has helped older folks through VISTE, Volunteers in Service to the Elderly, and worked with at-risk youth at Oscar Pope Elementary School.

A sign that Sergio has class, as well as always being at the head of it.