Normally, elementary school students are more interested in recess than class. But, for some, like Matthew Campbell of Clarksville, Md., goals are set at that age for their future.
“I’ve always liked airplanes and rockets and I was good at math,” Campbell, a 17-year-old and recent graduate from River Hill High School, said.
With a determined interest Campbell decided that not only would he go into engineering but he would also attend Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Once Campbell set his goal he told his parents.
“He told us, his mom and I, that he was going to MIT and that he was majoring in aerospace engineering,” said David Campbell, Matthew’s father. “At that time we didn’t even comprehend it.”
But Matthew worked hard toward achieving his acceptance letter to the prestigious engineering school.
“I knew MIT was one of the best schools and being an engineer wasn’t easy,” said Matthew Campbell. “I don’t think I was ever discouraged. I was always good at math and science.”
Throughout his high school experience, he took advanced courses and 18 AP course credits. He participated in club activities and organizations like Maryland Technology Honor Society, cross-country running, National Honor Society and Alpha Achievers. He ranked 47th of 315 in his class, said Campbell.
On the day Campbell was scheduled to receive his notification concerning his application to MIT, Matthew tried not to think about it until he arrived home, he said.
Around 6:30 p.m. he entered the school website portal and opened a letter of acceptance.
“He was playing it really low key,” said Marlene Campbell, the teen’s mother. “It was 10 o’clock that night and he showed me his laptop with the acceptance letter.”
After that his parents had to open his other acceptance letters because he knew where he was going in the fall.
“I knew once I got in that I was going there,” said Matthew Campbell.
Though he might remain quiet about his acceptance unless asked, said his mother, Matthew does have some MIT clothes and a lanyard.
For the summer, Matthew is interning at NASA. Starting August, he’ll continue working on his goal of graduating with an aerospace engineering degree.