Sandlin Accepted into Prestigious MIT, Cornell

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by Ronnie Zamora/LFCISD

Jonathan Sandlin has been passionate about many career choices since he was very young. He has made up his mind about a college major, but is not sure where he will study.

Sandlin received notification last week that he has been accepted into the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He also received word that he was accepted into Cornell University, an Ivy League school.

Jonathan, son of Niobe Mendoza and LFHS tennis coach William Sandlin, has yet to decide which school he will attend, or if he will attend Texas A&M University.

For many years, he was indecisive about his career choices.

“I always loved the outdoors, and wanted to be like Steve Irwin (famous crocodile hunter) when I was 6 or 7 and be a wildlife biologist. I wanted to be like him and go to Texas A&M.”

His teachers at Lopez-Riggins Elementary noticed his passion for learning.

“I loved biology and ecosystems and cells. My elementary school teachers noticed that I loved to learn and experience the world around me. They pushed me to pursue that thirst for knowledge.”

After elementary school, a desire to become an astronaut pushed him.

“From the time I was 14 until 16, I wanted to be an astronaut and go into space,” Jonathan said. “I got to talk to astronaut Mike Fossum, who’s an Eagle Scout like me, while he was in space. That really inspired me to part of the final frontier.”

Joining the military was another aspiration.

“This world has a lot of experience. That’s another reason that I want to go the military and become a Navy engineer,” he said. “I have a desire to go, but realize that my plans can change. There are a lot of great research and travel opportunities in the military.”

Jonathan has been active throughout his career at LFHS. He participated in UIL Math and Science, Science Bowl, DECA, HOSA, and played clarinet in the band. During what spare time he has left, he  takes part in boxing and kick boxing. He has also volunteered at Gladys Porter Zoo during summers and volunteered there last week during Spring Break.

He plans to visit MIT and Cornell in April and hopes to decide on a college before the school year ends May 26.  He is waiting for exact financial aid offers from both.  He is the second LFHS senior to be accepted into MIT. Joriam Martinez Parra, who recently was accepted to Harvard University, was also accepted into MIT earlier this year.

“If they accept you, they will offer as much as they can because they want you there. At MIT, I was told that there hasn’t been a case where a student has not been able to attend because of money.”

However, he has decided that chemical engineering is in his future.

“Engineering is a good field to go into. We’re never going to run out of engineers. I love solving problems and human interaction is important to me. The solving problems aspect and applying science to it helped me to decide on engineering.”

Jonathan is glad he decided to push academics because of the foundation is has laid for the future.

“It’s one thing to dream about something and think of it as ‘this is my motivation’ but it’s a completely different experience actually seeing those dreams accomplished. That’s what I’ve worked for since I was a little kid. Now I have to push myself for the next four years. It’s really relieving to see that all that effort was worth it.”

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