Matthew Calisto and his older brother were called “the brains” by his parents, but hard work played a big part in his success in high school and getting into college.
Calisto plans to study mechanical engineering at Purdue University, where his good grades in high school won him a Presidential Scholarship for $2,400. He also received a scholarship from the Cass County Community Foundation, and applied for a handful of others from local organizations.
“My parents saved, but I feel guilty accepting my parents’ money,” Calisto says. “I was never good enough at sports to get a scholarship, so I knew it was up to my academics. I knew that if I could apply myself in that area, there might be some scholarships and I could get into a good college.”
Motivation: “Some high school classes came pretty easily to me, but some were extremely rigorous. I did have to work to get where I am, because for me, there was never another option. My brother was valedictorian of his class. That was always motivation to work hard.”
Proud moments: Calisto earned the rank of Eagle Scout. A member of Boy Scouts since second grade, his Eagle Scout service project was to update the names and locations of headstones in a local cemetery, mapping them and taking photos so that relatives could find their loved one’s burial places. He also went to state competitions with his high school speech team, and ran cross country and track.
Future plans: “Although mechanical engineering is what I decided to major in—I’ve always been a tinkerer, and mechanical engineering is pretty much that—I actually don’t necessarily want to work as an engineer. My real goal is to become a lawyer and go into patent law. I used to think I wanted to be a defense attorney, but I interned for a family friend who is an attorney and I learned I didn’t like what he did. So the idea of patent law came up, and I learned that engineering is a good background for that type of law practice.”
Advice: “If you want good things to happen, you have to make them happen. Just because you make a bad decision one day doesn’t mean you have to repeat it.”