A once-homeless teen soared his way to the final round of one of the nation’s most esteemed science competitions last week.
Though the University of Chicago Laboratory High School senior was not the winner of the Intel Science Talent Search’s $100,000 prize, his project placed him in the final round of contestants who competed in Washington D.C.
Gunderman submitted a chemistry project that used molecular dynamics to explore the mechanics of energy transport in photosynthesis and became one of the competition’s 40 finalists out of more than 1,700 entries.
Though Gunderman’s success will take him to new places, the teen reportedly spent much of his childhood living in various homeless shelters on Chicago’s North Side, according to the Chicago Tribune.
But despite his storied past, Gunderman has excelled in school while competing on math, science and linguistic teams. He was also a two-time Silver Medalist in the National Latin Exam.
Gunderman reportedly received a full scholarship to Stanford University, though he is still waiting to hear back from Harvard, Princeton, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and University of Chicago, the Tribune reported.