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 14, 2016)

Jose Ruiz

Jose Ruiz is an Alumni of Chicago Math and Science Academy, Class of 2011. Currently, Jose is studying Sociology with a concentration in Criminal Justice and a minor in Spanish and Political Science at Purdue University.

Briefly, describe your career path.
After graduating from Chicago Math and Science Academy, I started my Bachelor’s degree in Sociology at Purdue University in Indiana. During my junior year I was hired as an officer by a police department in the state of Illinois. Aside from working full time, I am also currently in my 4th year in college, and I will be graduating in May 2016.
What are you passionate about in your work/school?
I am passionate about helping and protecting my community as well as applying what I have learned in school and life in the professional field.
Where is your career heading?
Right after I complete my bachelor’s degree in Sociology, I will seek my master’s degree in Criminology. I am planning on staying as an officer at the municipal level for a couple of years; my aspiration is to eventually move from the patrol unit into being a gang and narcotics detective. By the time I complete my master’s degree, I am planning on working on the federal level (with the Drug Enforcement Administration), which is my ultimate career goal. Aside from working as an officer I would also like to start a gang prevention/intervention organization in the city of Chicago.
How has your Concept Schools experience helped shape your success?
Being a Chicago Math & Science Academy Alumni definitely had an impact on my success. Having teachers who are dedicated and who continuously motivate students to be the best they can be is something that unquestionably motivated me to strive to do better academically, and in life as whole.
How are you making a positive impact in your community?
I am currently working as an officer in a very high gang concentrated area. Working for a police department gives me the opportunity to interact with the community and work with at risk youth. With the above being said, I try to talk to the kids that I see are heading down the wrong direction, hoping to make a change and end some of the violence that plague our communities.
What is the most amazing or interesting thing that’s happened to you since graduating?
Since graduating, the best thing that happened to me was going to college. I have grown both on an academic level and in life. I have developed more confidence and have discovered that I have a passion for helping others, and I strive to do so whenever I get the opportunity. Going to college has been the key to my success and the growth that I have experienced in my life.
Your favorite high school memory?
I attended CMSA since the 8th grade so I have many great memories. My favorite one would be when we made the trip to Canada during my Sophomore year. It was a great experience and I am thankful for the many fun trips we had during my high school career.
How do you support and participate in the Concept Alumni?
I am currently volunteering at Chicago Math And Science Academy and assist with alumni activities whenever possible. In addition to volunteering at CMSA, I will soon become a mentor for the Concept Alumni Mentorship Program (CAMP).

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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