Brad Chavero of Red Bank, a student at RBR’s Academy of Engineering, stands in front of Harvard University, where he was able to attend a very competitive camp for advanced math students this summer. He also spent a month at the Rutgers’ campus for the Governor’s School of Engineering and Technology.

Press release from Red Bank Regional High School

While the American Dream may seem a futile quest for some today, first generation American Brad Chavero, a top student and member of the Academy of Engineering at Red Bank Regional High School, is determined to take advantage of every opportunity presented to him to succeed.

This summer, Brad was able to attend not just one, but two very prestigious programs to further his educational experiences. In July, Brad was selected as one of only 72 students in New Jersey to attend the Governor’s School of Engineering and Technology at Rutgers at B.E.S.T. (Busch, Engineering, Science and Technology) Hall. No sooner had Brad returned home from his Rutgers’ camp than he and his father set out the next day to attend a second two-week camp for advanced math students — this one on the Cambridge, MA campus of Harvard University.

These opportunities, while well-deserved by a very talented, bright and industrious young man, were facilitated with the help of others– his family, his school and his community.

The Chaveros were immigrants to this country where their two children were born. They are hard-working, live in a small apartment, and do not own a car.  For years, Brad, as other neighborhood boys, was mentored by community leader David Prown, who engaged him in sports programs like swimming and rowing, and encouraged his high intellect to take advantage of all community programs.

It was David Prown who drove Brad and his father up to the Rutgers campus for his first amazing adventure of the summer.

“Early on, Brad’s parents recognized that he had a very special academic and inquisitive mind,” states Prown of the family that he has known for many years. “As a result, they committed and encouraged to grab onto and experience many opportunities to the fullest, without the distraction of having to get a job or significant sibling child care obligations.

“Hence, Brad grabbed on with both hands and feet to get the most of experiences and has had outstanding results.”

Math happens to be Brad’s best subject. He entered RBR as the valedictorian of his Red Bank Middle School, and joined the math team. Over the next three years, RBR’s math league turned in very respectable performances with Brad and teammates, reaching the sixth position in the league.

For four weeks, Brad was immersed in several high-level classes at Rutgers including modern physics, of which he explains, “We explored topics including subatomic particles, dark matter, relativity, and black holes. Working as a team in our robotics class, we coded and designed Lego Mindstorm NXTrobots sending them through unique mazes and ultimately navigated a small house.”

He lived in what he describes as the most modern dorm in the university, with incredibly talented students from around the state.

“I got to meet so many intelligent individuals from whom I could seek advice moving forward,” explains Brad. Even the counselors were very helpful to us in giving us their contact information for future career advice.”

The students took intriguing road trips to Hope Creek Nuclear Generation Station in Salem, NJ, where they studied a mock-up room simulating the control panel of the nuclear plant. A field trip to the Boeing facility in Philadelphia introduced them to the military marvel the Osprey, which takes off and lands like a helicopter but flies like a jet.

The trip was also a great preparation for college for a young man who spent almost his whole 17 years in the 1.75 square miles of Red Bank. For the first time, he lived away from home for an extended period of time; doing his laundry and managing his own schedule.

The invitation to apply to Harvard came unsolicited to him as a student in the top 10 percent of his class. This very competitive program was open to a far bigger universe then the Rutgers’ program, with over 500 students accepted from 49 US states and 73 different countries.

With finances as issue, Brad attendance was made possible by a generous subsidy from Harvard, federal grant money allotted to his school district, and his parents’ contribution. This time Brad and his dad embarked on the long public transportation odyssey up to Boston, where a whole new world awaited to be explored — and where he “absolutely fell in love” with the Cambridge-Boston area.

As this exceptional young man embarks on his senior year of high school, there will be no doubt be many more opportunities to undertake and options to explore.  He continues to take the most challenging courses with four AP classes this year (he aced four AP classes and their tests in his junior year). He will seek admittance to several honor societies, while tutoring students in math during lunchtime  and participating in three running sports all year long.

Every winter, he also coaches at Red Bank recreational soccer. He has begun the process of looking at colleges, with plans to study engineering, and with Harvard definitely at the top of his list.

When asked what motivates him to work so hard, this humble young man simply states, “It may sound cliché, but I just want to give my parents a better life. I want to buy them a house so that they can live the American dream.