Peter Boyce

Hometown: Bronx, NY

high school: Stuyvesant High School

college: Harvard University

MAJOR: Mathematics

Peter was born in Bethesda, Maryland, and grew up in Washington, D.C.. An academically talented boy with a childhood passion for astronomy, Peter was care-free, hardly contemplating his future. Until his father’s financial problems forced his family to move to New York, Peter never knew hunger, never knew hardship, and never opened his eyes to the troubled society in which he lives. He was forced to grow up fast, and to realize the responsibilities he would have to bear if he wanted a better life. Peter's world inverted. He lived on the floor of his grandmother’s apartment in Washington Heights with his younger brother and parents. Memories of happy days would be his comfort as he faced the reality of being alone and impoverished. Mott Hall, a school for gifted students predominantly from disadvantaged families, provided him the opportunity to grow and succeed academically. Willing to do anything to postpone his return to the claustrophobic cubicle in which he lived, Peter did his schoolwork in a Barnes and Nobles. One day, finishing early, Peter opened a copy of Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time and fell in love with physics. A passion for math combined with his interest in science, which Mott Hall fed, to give young Peter the resilience to overcome the obstacles he faced. Accepted into New York City’s top specialized high school, Peter saw his time at Stuyvesant as more than the path to escape his financial situation, the violence of his neighborhood, and the depression of being home: it was a means to elevate him to a position where he could help students in similar situations.

Inspired by his mother’s hard work in the pursuit of a degree, Peter made it his mission to become a success story, to forgo the path of least resistance and to take the path that would lead him to academic excellence in physics. With a love for learning and a passion for understanding the mysteries of the universe as his drive, Peter will graduate having completed 13 AP courses, and by his junior year had already exhausted the school’s math curriculum. Unable to go without math or physics, Peter took higher level courses at Columbia University. When he is not in class at Columbia, he is with his mentor in the astrophysics department, studying gravitational waves. A National Achievement Scholar, National Merit Finalist, and Questbridge College Prep Scholarship winner, Peter had the opportunity to study at Harvard University last summer and was among the fifty students chosen worldwide to attend the International Summer School for Young Physicists hosted by the Perimeter Institute. Peter is driven to be a leader, to beat a path he hopes other minority and financially disadvantaged students will follow. He is a member of the Youth Leadership club and the National Society of Black Physicists, a frequent tutor of the too few minority students at his school, and a mentor to students at his former middle school.

Peter shares an often infectious optimism and excitement for math and science with everyone he comes across.

Peter recently graduated from Harvard with an AB in Mathematics and Computer Science. He currently works at General Catalyst Venture Partners.

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