Center for Leadership Academy Scholar André J Guardia
San José, Costa Rica

Major and Graduation

Applied Physics - Graduation Date: May 2023 

Short-Term Goals

My short-term goals are divided as follows: physical, emotional and intellectual. In the physical side of things, I want to both continue my practice of Taekwondo (Black Belt), and earn a black belt in Kung Fu. This is important to me because Martial Arts teach us a lot about discipline, frustration, emotional management, confidence and conflict resolution. My short term emotional goals involve making meaningful connections (with friends and family), working on my leadership skills (specifically being more detail-oriented, communicative and a better listener). Given I am an International student, one of my short term goals also is getting used to living and understanding the cultural landscape in both the Chicago area and the US. As for my intellectual goals, they involve excelling in all the academic courses I take. I want to gain insightful theoretical and technical research experience both on and off campus. And finally, I want to learn all I can and thoroughly explore my interests and ideas.

Long-Term Goals

As for my Long-Term goals, I want to be an inventor and entrepreneur in the Chicago area. I want to have the knowledge, expertise and connections to develop novel, great ideas that can change people's lives for the better. This long term goal was heavily influenced by my time as the founder and leader of the Green Tech For All Initiative (back when I was in High School).

GT4A, as we called it, was a student-lead initiative that focused on building computers from re-purposed technological waste and then donating them to local elementary schools in need of technology (back in Costa Rica). This project taught me that there was much more to be done than just access to technology. These communities also lacked safe water, access to reliable energy sources and basic health services. I then understood that this is not just a "Costa Rica" problem, it is happening all around the world.
This was a really touching experience that defined the direction I want to take my life in. I want to use all I learned during my time here at IIT to make people's lives better, easier and safer.

Leadership Experience

  • Team Founder and Participant - Saint Francis College National Robotics Olympiad Team - (2017).
  • Team Tutor - Saint Francis College National Chemistry Olympiad Team - (2017-2018)
  • Founder and Leader - SanfrApp - (2017-2018)
  • Founder and Leader - Green Tech For All - (2018)
  • Co-Founder and Leader - National Math Honors Society Chapter at Saint Francis College (2018)
  • Intinium Idea Incubator Founder and Project Lead - Intinium - (Summer 2020)
  • External Vice President - Intinium - (Summer 2020-Present)
  • Startup Symposium Project Lead - Intinium - (Summer 2020-Present)