Outstanding graduate: Fernando Carrillo, Francis Polytechnic High School

Posted by BARBARA JONES on 5/31/2019

Inspiring mom propels Polytechnic High School valedictorian to success

Fernando Carrillo Fernando Carrillo loved creating with Legos as a kid and coding with robotics as he got a little older.

He spent a summer at UCLA’s High School Tech Camp, and tackled MOSTEC, a rigorous online science and technology program offered by MIT.

Now that he’s headed to the University of California, Berkeley, Fernando plans to use his love of gadgetry to jumpstart a career as a bioengineer, designing prosthetics and other high-tech medical devices.

“I’ve loved technology and science since elementary school,” Fernando said. “I want to pursue this and use it to help others.”

With a grade-point average of 4.6, Fernando is first in his class at Francis Polytechnic High School. He’s also been a leader in other areas, such as spearheading a voter registration drive at the Sun Valley campus and serving as treasurer of the National Honor Society. As quarterback on the Parrots’ varsity football team, Fernando won a Scholar Athlete award from the National Football Foundation.

Everyone on our campus – students and teachers – describes Fernando as well-rounded, but it goes beyond the academics and athletics in which he excelled,” said Principal Elidia Vazquez. “Fernando is respectful, funny, compassionate and genuine. UC Berkeley is fortunate to have Poly's valedictorian Fernando as part of their incoming class.

Fernando said he’s been inspired to excel by his mom, who earned her own engineering degree while raising his sisters and him.

“She is my hero. She went back to school and worked so hard, and I want to work as hard as she does,” Fernando said. “My whole family has helped me so much, and I want to pay them back. One day, I want to help those who helped me.”