MacArthur High School senior William Wong is one of 4,741 students enrolled in the Irving ISD Gifted and Talented (GT) Program, which offers an accelerated curriculum that focuses on challenging, real-world issues. Wong has been a part of the program since first grade, and he credits GT for bringing him out of his shell.
“When I first joined, I was anti-social and felt no one understood me,” says Wong. “But here, I realized the kids were just like me, and that helped a lot.”
Wong says the people make the program for him and it is beneficial to be surrounded by students who move at the same pace and have similar hobbies and interests.
While in the program, students complete various projects, one being the research for a discovery project. Students are given a research question and then work to develop a solution. One that stuck out to William was his seventh-grade project on digital privacy. Through that, he was able to learn how to code programs that scanned computers for malware.
“That was a big learning experience for me,” he says. “And that’s what led to computer science being one of my favorite hobbies.”
Students, like Wong, in the Gifted and Talented program benefit in many ways, including a jumpstart on the college coursework experience and life skills.
“You’re able to gain a higher level of discipline because of the workload,” he adds.
When speaking of preparing for college, Wong says that he’s very excited and plans to attend the University of Texas at Dallas and major in biomedical engineering and then further his education in medical school. His dream is to work as a pediatrician and then teach.
“My mom is a teacher, and she’s one of my biggest inspirations,” says Wong. “I’d love to educate the next generation as well.” If you are interested in having your student tested for the Gifted and Talented program in Irving ISD, visit IrvingISD.net/GT for more information.