For Mylon Turner, numbers carry with them an enticing sense of universality that keeps his mind engaged, even when he’s involved in other activities.
“There are numbers in everything,” the Anderson High School senior said during a recent break between classes. “When it comes to building, when it comes to thinking, analyzing, when it comes to money especially, you have to know your math. It’s so versatile. You can get through anything with numbers.”
Turner’s passion for numbers will likely serve him well as he plans to study business administration in college — likely at Purdue, Indiana University or Tennessee State University — after he graduates next spring. His academic resume received a boost recently when he received a National African American Recognition Award (NAARA) from the College Board National Recognition Programs.
Jaylin Hernandez, an Anderson junior, was honored with a National Hispanic Recognition Award (NHRA) from the same organization.
The programs bestow academic honors on students who take eligible administrations of AP, PSAT/NMSQT, or PSAT exams. Students placing in the top 10% on the PSAT are considered for the programs.
“When I looked at who had gotten it before, some of my cousins got it, and they were also very high up there in classes,” Hernandez said. “It’s good knowing that I compare to them, getting the same award.”
Like Turner, Hernandez excels in math-related subjects like calculus and computer science. He currently ranks second in his class with a 4.665 GPA.
“Anything that involves problems and using logic,” said Hernandez, who also participates in student government and is a member of the school’s soccer team. “I really like math because it’s all problems, and there’s always a solution.”
Both students said their academic awards will further improve their transcripts, which in a competitive admissions environment could provide a needed edge once they narrow down their college choices.
“There’s so much that makes our students unique, and receiving these honors reinforces their commitment to a successful future,” said Terri Wilson, a college and career counselor at Anderson High School.
Turner, who is currently ranked 24th in his class with a 3.89 GPA, said the material and teaching methods in many of his classes are geared toward helping him think like a college student. He said his calculus teacher, Richard Ziuchkovski, has been known to pause during lessons and present problems the way a college professor might do it.
“He’ll get into how colleges look at it or how the AP test will put this answer choice down and how we should respond,” Turner said. “He really goes in-depth on how the higher level learning — not just professors, but also the tests — will present these questions to you.”
Hernandez said he believes several of his more rigorous classes are already preparing him for college by demanding extra effort outside the classroom.
“I’m in a lot of classes that require a lot of time outside of school, and then I’m also doing soccer right now,” he said. “I have to manage my time very well, because if not, I won’t get sleep or I won’t get the work done.”
With his interest in math and computer science, Hernandez said pursuing a career in those fields or working with artificial intelligence seems like a natural path for him to follow. He is also considering starting his own side business in connection with a concrete company owned by his father.
“I want to go into AI since I’m really intrigued by that,” he said. “Hopefully when I go to college, I’ll be able to do both things because I’ll know how to manage my time correctly and be able to study effectively.”
This article appeared in The Herald Bulletin.