The real test of a high school education is how it plays out afterward. CAN graduates are successful, hardworking, and are making contributions in diverse fields. Here are just a few of the many paths taken by Concept Alumni.

Alumni Spotlight
(Week of Mar 7, 2016)

Cesar Naja

Cesar Naja is an alumnus of Chicago Math and Science Academy (CMSA), Class of 2012. Cesar is a senior at Fatih University majoring in computer engineering.

Briefly, describe your career path.
I graduated Chicago Math & Science Academy in 2012. I went to attend Fatih University, which is located in Istanbul, Turkey. I decided to follow Computer Engineering as my major. I am still waiting to graduate this semester, but I have a plan to continue my education and receive my master’s degree in Network Security at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Though plans might sometimes change, currently it’s what I’m looking forward to.
What are you passionate about in your work/school?
I have never seen so much diversity in my school. It’s like the whole world came to this meeting point. I love meeting people from every part of the world. I love experiencing different food, music, traditions, and other cultures. I believe it’s what makes my school very unique. You get to share many experiences with each other. Fatih University is truly a world university.
Where is your career headed?
My master’s degree in Network Security, possibly at Illinois Institute of Technology.
How has your Concept Schools experience helped shape your success?
I believe that if I had not gone to CMSA I would’ve never gotten to the place I am now. I have never seen such dedicated teachers who have a great passion for teaching. They really prepared me for the real college experience. I have to thank all the staff and teachers for the motivation they gave every individual student to succeed. And I love the fact that even though I graduated from CMSA, I still keep in touch with my teachers. They love to see the progress I have made as well as where my career is headed. I believe Concept Schools really do a great job helping a student achieve his/her goals.
How are you making a positive impact in your community?
I try to get involved with a lot of school events. Though it might not seem so much of a help, I believe in the end everything adds up and it might be that small things can make a huge difference.
What is the most amazing or interesting thing that’s happened to you since graduating?
I got to travel to a whole new place, live in a new country, and experience a whole new different lifestyle. I happen to believe that the world is your home. I got to meet many people from all nationalities, some of whom I will be friends with for a long time. Experiencing something new is always something great to do.
Your favorite high school memory?
I believe my favorite high school memories were mainly during my senior year, but the Saturday ACT clubs that the school had for us is one. It did involve some extra school work, but the events held afterwards were something were always fun especially when your friends were around.
How do you support and participate in the Concept Alumni?
I try to get involved in a lot of the events that Concept Schools holds. Though it doesn’t happen too often since I’m away for school, I still love to come back during the holidays and see my school in the ways that it has changed and improved. I also like to share my experiences and give other students advice on what college will be like or what to expect.

Concept Alumni Network (CAN) invites suggestions for Alumni Spotlights!
Do you know a Concept Alum(s) who has:
  • An interesting job?
  • An extraordinary story to tell?
  • Made a difference in his/her community?
  • Been a role model for others?
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