Sterling Alic

Hometown: Miami, FL

high school: iPreparatory Academy

college: Stanford University

MAJOR: Computer Science

Sterling Alic has always had an immense love of learning for many different fields and has taken every opportunity to further his education. As a child, Sterling was quiet yet curious; always eager to challenge himself academically, he enjoyed reading any book he could find and performing impromptu science experiments around his house. Additionally, through the support of his parents, he has not let geography get in his way of a good education. Thus, he’s taken long commutes in order to attend some of the best public schools in Miami-Dade County, traveling an hour by car and bus to attend magnet schools like G.W. Carver Middle School and his current school iPreparatory Academy, Miami-Dade County Superintendent Alberto Carvalho’s flagship school for curriculum innovation, technology, and real-world career experiences.

There, he flourished and took the school’s blended learning and self-paced curriculum to the extremes, enrolling in classes across three languages (Spanish, French, and Mandarin) in addition to pursuing accelerated coursework in math and science. Sterling even took Multivariable Calculus at Harvard University the summer after his sophomore year, and after exhausting the math curriculum available to him, has continued to take advanced junior and senior college level math courses like Complex Analysis and Partial Differential Equations through online MOOCs.

This most recent summer, he participated in MOSTEC (MIT Online Science Technology and Engineering Community), a rigorous academic summer program in which students take advanced courses online for six weeks and then present their work at a 5-day conference at MIT. Throughout the program, he studied robotics and science writing, culminating in a final project (a physical autonomous robot) and final paper (in which he interviewed a CalTech professor and wrote a science article on quantum computing with a focus on applications to cybersecurity).

However, as he will be the first in his family to attend college, Sterling knows first-hand how a quality education can change the course of someone’s life. Thus, in addition to pursuing a career in technology, he has sought to improve equal access to education for all. He works toward this mission through his work as a volunteer for Read to Learn Books for Free and director of the initiative Books Para Libros, which collects bilingual and Spanish books throughout Miami-Dade County in order to increase bilingual literacy. He also manages several fundraisers as president of Student Government and Fundraising Coordinator of Students Helping Achieve Philanthropic Excellence (SHAPE) in addition to serving as a tutor and mentor for underclassmen.

This continued commitment to education and public service landed him a spot as one of two delegates representing the state of Florida in the United States Senate Youth Program, a week-long intensive study of government through which he met and learned from public officials serving in the most prominent positions of government, including Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Roberts, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and President Donald Trump.

Sterling now plans to major in Computer Science in the hopes of pursuing a career in technology and/or education.

Back to 2017 Scholars