• Staff

Star Student A.J. Burns

Updated: Mar 20, 2020

Hunter Kotronakis

If it were common practice to nominate a student for the title of "most likely to become the next Bill Gates" in the yearbook, one particular student may come to mind here at Seguin High. AJ Burns is the senior class's salutatorian, with a 4.0 GPA and a shockingly fitting pair of glasses.

It's nearly impossible to participate in a conversation with him for more than five minutes without his eyes lighting up and him bringing up science and technology.

"I'm really into robotics, which should come as no surprise since I'm on an extracurricular robotics team here at school," Burns said. "The three of us - myself, Zach Kaplan and Owen Zheng - are working together to build a robot that can move cubes, and we use it in competitions that are sometimes hosted by the school."

Burns has a strong dedication to science and discovery, and it certainly shows when he talks about his favorite YouTube channel.

"It's called Kurzgesagt - In A Nutshell, and it really teaches you a lot," he said. "It corrects common misconceptions and myths about the world, like how overpopulation isn't an actual threat, and not only that, but it discusses future technological developments like Dyson Spheres and Shkadov Thrusters. It also has really cool and easy to understand animations in it."

When Burns isn't learning about science and technology, he also participates in Seguin High's band. When you hear him play, you can't deny his talent.

"I'm the section leader of the baritones," Burns said. "In the current piece we're learning, I have a solo; I'm pretty excited for it, because it's like half the song."

With such a versatile selection of skills and interests under his belt, AJ Burns undoubtedly has what it takes to get into a vast number of colleges, but he has only a few in mind.

"I've applied to M.I.T, Baylor, and Utah State University," he said. "Utah State is the only one I've heard back from, and they gave me a presidential scholarship which would pay full tuition. I'll be hearing back from Baylor pretty soon, too, though."

For the time being, however, he will continue to pursue his love of the application of scientific advancement over the summer with a special, unrelated to school project. Along with his friend and fellow band member, senior Stephen Garza, he will build a robot with the capability to autonomously move, locate a target, and fire a projectile independent from human input.

Not everyone can say they have as much intellect and determination as AJ Burns, nor can they say they have garnered the same amount of admiration and respect as him, but perhaps it's better that way. It gives the rest of us a goal to reach towards because we know it's possible. AJ is a living example of the potential in all of us, so long as we find our true passion in life.

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