Mario Hoover, a student at Providence St. Mel School in Chicago achieved a perfect score on the ACT standardized college admissions test.
The perfect score of 36 is the highest any student performed on the test in the prestigious private school’s 42-year history.
The bright and ambitious junior was born and raised on the West Side. He studied hard to earn a high score because he dreams of being a neurosurgeon.
Mario said that he hopes his accomplishment encourages others in the neighborhood to recognize they are capable of excellence.
“It means that not only can I achieve this. But others can as well. It breaks the notion that people from the West Side can’t succeed,” Hoover said. “I hope people look at me and think they can do it as well.”
His success is proof that when young people are lifted up and given quality resources and opportunities, they can achieve beyond expectations, Hoover also said.
“Not everybody has the best access to education. But once provided with those tools and resources to succeed, a lot of people have the potential to. I see potential everywhere as I walk through my neighborhood,” Hoover said.
He has his sights set on the Ivy League and hopes to go to Columbia University in New York. According to his mother, he has already been contacted by the school.
“I get emotional because it is a great accomplishment,” she said. “It’s a huge accomplishment for our neighborhood and for our family.”