The Shortridge cum laude student is ready for his next chapter

 

Luis Quintana Jr. knows his worth!

When asked to describe himself, he answered: “I am just your average 17-year-old superstar student on (my) way to college. I will probably be the most hardworking person you’ll ever see, whether that is in school, sports or work.”

That confidence and self-assurance came early in life and helped him not just academically, but in some of his darkest times — including a period of domestic violence. Luis said soon after he and his mother moved to Indianapolis, she married and violence quickly followed.

“What was supposed to be the perfect life plummeted,” he said. “Witnessing domestic violence and experiencing the abuse myself has integrated morals into me that will never change. Growing up in Indiana, I have learned to adapt to any environment since a young boy because my household was always changing.”

Needing to mature early developed his strong sense of right and wrong. It helped him find his voice. “I stepped up and became the voice for us, never letting my mother down.”

Luis also began to take charge of his educational path. He will graduate cum laude from Shortridge High School on June 14, and will enter his freshman year at IUPUI this fall as an accounting major through the Kelley School of Business.

As an IPS Honors scholar, Luis answered a few questions about himself and his time at IPS. Here’s what he said.

Tell Us About Yourself.

My hobbies consist of learning new skills or perfecting the skills I already have. My skills set spreads almost all over the place but originated from one place: cars. I started disassembling and assembling them at a young age, counting the screws I took out and making sure I put the same amount back in. That is how I started excelling in math, which is how I chose my (college) major. All of this made my skills in construction/remodeling a lot better. Let’s not forget about my computer skills and knowledge in both Adobe and Microsoft.

Why is being a top scholar at your school important?

Being a top scholar is not just about the grades, but more about how you carry yourself. Having good grades shows that you’re hard working and actually care about your future. That being said, my grades have helped me get opportunities through (Shortridge’s) Future Center that I never knew I could get. I have networked with people that are way out of my school community, such as (Indianapolis) Mayor Joe Hogsett, (Indiana) State Representative Earl L. Harris Jr., and Indiana House Democratic Caucus Chair Mara Candelaria Reardon.

Provide a little-known fact about yourself.

I am not very fond of art, but one time I did create a piece that expressed what I’ve gone through and how I view the world at the same time. My name consists of four letters, which I converted into bones that were split in disproportionate halves. There are only two ways to view events, that being positive or negative and the way I always see them is positive, thus the bigger half.

 What is your career goal?

The one thing that I want to achieve before I die is to make a name for myself. That being said, I plan to learn all the little hacks and knowledge I possibly can to go big. I will open my own tax firm to help my community and hopefully one day surpass Ernst & Young.