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MIT staff blogger Matt McGann '00

Introducing the Class of 2013: Terence ‘13 by Matt McGann '00

The second in a series of articles about the incoming MIT class.

Today, we continue the series Introducing the Class of 2013:


Augusta Student From Local Housing Project Heads To M.I.T
By Fraendy Clervaud
WJBF News Channel 6 Reporter
June 4, 2009

It’s very parents dream… for their child to graduate high school and to get accepted into a great college. Sometimes this dream can seem out of reach because of where family lives, but is that always true? Count on WJBF News Channel 6’s Fraendy Clervaud. He has the story.


Augusta, GA—It’s packing day for 17-year-old Terence Dalbert. The summer is here, but he’s not going on vacation. Instead, he’s getting ready for summer classes at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Terence Dalbert, M.I.T.-bound: “Its going to be hard leaving my family. I’m going to a whole other area.”

Graduating with a 4.0 GPA, and getting an 1850 SAT score, Terence was this year’s valedictorian at Lucy C. Laney High School. He plans to major in electrical and computer engineering at MIT.

Terence Dalbert: “I always loved math, it’s always been my favorite subject. Science is my second favorite. Putting those two together, it’s basically what engineering is.”

But, he’s quick to tell you it was not always easy. That’s because Terence and his family live in Underwood Homes. It’s an Augusta housing project plagued by crime.

Fraendy Clervaud, reporting: “According to the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office reports, they’ve received 416 violent crime cases for Underwood Homes within the past two years. The Augusta Housing Authority tells us about 450 people live here. So if you do t he math that’s about one crime per person.”

Terence Dalbert: “People have broken into our house a few times and have stolen some things. So, that’s the personal experience, and I’ve heard gun shots. You know, there’s alot of adversity to deal with, but I’ve pushed through it. I’m not going to let anything stop me.”

Terence’s father says, despite living in the projects, he did all that he could to make sure his children did not end up on the wrong path.”

Ian Dalbert, Terence’s father: “Just because you live in Underwood Homes doesn’t mean you have to be a certain way, I have to be a fighter, sell drugs, I have to use drugs, show them that you can be smart.”

Lynnor Dalbert, Terence’s mother: “I’m going to miss him. It’s going to be real hard, but at the same time, I’m real proud of him.”

26 responses to “Introducing the Class of 2013: Terence ‘13”

  1. Steph says:

    Good for him. These are stories that I like reading.

  2. anshika says:

    how come mit didnt understood my difficult circumstances that how i strrugled day and night to prove myself. Whether it was the role of student or it was the role of the parents or teachers, i have been everything for myself ,doing every possible efforts to make myself better every day.studying,earning,supporting,encouraging no matter how many jobs have to be tackeled but i never gave up,but today am looking back as i come to know that my mit thinks that i have not done anything special in my life by doing so like other people.
    ok,from now i will try to be just a student and nothing else but i dont know who will come to handle the rest……………
    best of luck class of 2013!!!!!

  3. Isra says:

    Terence stands as an exceptional example for all us students out there, that no matter what circumstances one has to face, perseverance, sheer dedication to an ambition and a focused mind can always bring home good.
    I myself have faced an immense number of odd situations in my student life, but I’ve never given up. Rather I’ve always had faith.
    This is what we all need to do in pursuit of our goals in life =)

  4. Carlos Garay says:

    Interphase ’09!!!

  5. NathanArce says:

    This means NO offense to Terence, but hopefully this kind of thing will show people that you don’t need an especially high SAT score to get in ^_^

  6. It’s amazing what is going on out there that we never (or rarely) see. What a soldier! Good job and good luck Terence!

  7. Kimberly '13 says:

    Congratulations Terence, I’m really happy for you.See you for orientation.

  8. Alireza'14 says:

    Oh by the way when will you upload the class of 2014 application?

  9. Tina says:

    1850? seriously?

  10. anonymous says:

    Congratulations to Terence and his parents. It is inspiring to see a young man succeed academically while growing up in a crime-ridden environment. Kudos to his parents for the exceptional job they have done by emphasizing the importance of education! Good luck Terence!

  11. stophating says:

    stop hating. and Tina, thats especially for you :-D.

  12. docphil '13 says:

    CC ’13 what is going on brother! Thats real cool man I can’t wait to meat you and the rest of the brotherhood this August.

    @ NathanArce

    To add my 2 cents

    While Terence’s SAT Score was not above 2300 (neither was mine) as you can see he has the determination to defy expectations. Something that I feel MIT is looking for when they look at SAT scores. Like the Bryan Nance (Admissions Officer) said MIT looks at the whole package. To scale with somebody in a different financial situation an 1850 is a “High Score”.

  13. Anonymous says:

    @anshika

    don’t think for an instant that if you got in you’d be happy. before i was admitted, MIT was like a christmas present — my one persistent fantasy.

    to be honest, i wish i wasn’t admitted early action so i would still have the option of going to another, less academic school. ironically, my one goal in life has become my biggest mistake.

    c’est la vie and FML and all that, but i was in your shoes and MIT isn’t like its reputation and surely isn’t like their brochures. you’re not missing out on anything

  14. Justin says:

    Can international students apply for Early Decision? I know that we can’t do EA.

    Congratulations Terence! Bravo.

  15. ZOMG says:

    Justin: MIT doesn’t have ED. And as you said, they can’t apply through EA.

  16. Rene '13 says:

    CC ’13! Thats wuts up. Cant wait to meet u in the fall man.

  17. Arooshi '13 says:

    Congrats to Terence on all your accomplishments. You stand out as a model for those who face face true adversity. I look forward to meeting you on campus this fall.

  18. Way to go homeboy! I am from Augusta (Gracewood) and very familiar with the troubles of Underwood Project. I went to Hephzibah Jr. High. Im a proud of you. Goodluck Louis Edwards (Dartmouth College)

  19. Anonymous says:

    All the cool kids want to take electrical & computer science wink

  20. Justin says:

    Oh well, then I’m guessing international students have a little disadvantage? I read somewhere MIT only has 8% international students out of their student body. How sad.

  21. jade says:

    after reading your comments, it’s out of my imagination that you have so much pressure.in my opinion, you in mit should be quite happy and have a good life, you can do anything you like and achieve your goal easily, for you are top students.even though now i can feel your pressure but i still believe you. best wishe sfor you

  22. NathanArce says:

    Yes, I know, docphil, lol. It’s just, people are way too obsessed with test scores, and I think this is a good example of what’s more important than that. Mine wasn’t 2300 or above either, and I got in ^_^

  23. docphil '13 says:

    Ha, thanks for the support Nathan.