This is the fourth in a series of profiles of members of the freshman class.
When freshman Jeremy McGee found out that his high school did not offer the kinds of advanced placement classes he wanted, he bought the books, buckled down and earned top honors on his own.
That drive is just part of what got McGee to 77 Massachusetts Ave.
"My father always told me to do what I loved," McGee said. After his father died in 1999, McGee continued to work on the goals they had set together.
Studying aerospace engineering at MIT is a dream come true for McGee, who said he has always loved flight and aviation.
And, although his father is gone, McGee has gotten a wealth of encouragement from his family -- his mother, three brothers, two sisters and a host of aunts and uncles. "The support they have shown me has been amazing," he said.
In fact, it was one of his uncles who first mentioned MIT to McGee. "I had never heard of the school at that time -- I was just excited to be going to college," he said. But his uncle thought it would be a good fit for the teenager whose high school career was filled with accolades: National Achievement Scholar, member of the National Honor Roll, National Merit Commended Student and more.
And it was his mother who encouraged him to pick up the saxophone when he was 6. She had heard him whistling along to a Kenny G CD. McGee has played sax for the last 12 years.
Though science and math remain his primary interests, McGee also volunteers at the Arts-Us Enviro-Arts Summer Camp, working with students ages 9 to 12. The campers study drumming, dance, photography and chorus. McGee considers it an opportunity to share some of what he got from his family with younger students.
Although he said he will miss his family, McGee said he's ready for what MIT will bring.
"I have been waiting a long time for this," he said. "I am most excited about being around so many motivated people."