Seventeen-year-old Cedrick Argueta was one of only 12 students worldwide to recently attain a perfect score on the grueling Advanced Placement Calculus exam. More than 302,000 students took the 3 1/4 hour test last year, said to be one of the most difficult college-level tests. Cedrick also aced the English and math sections of his ACT college-entrance exam.

Student taking test via Wikimedia Commons

You might guess that Cedrick comes from a privileged private-school background. Nope. He’s the son of two immigrants who came to the U.S. as young adults, his mother from the Philippines and his father from El Salvador. His father never attended high school and works in maintenance at a nursing home, where his mother also works as a licensed vocational nurse.

Cedrick attends Lincoln High School, a public school of about 1,200 students in the Lincoln Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles, where the majority of students are low-income and 20 percent are English-language learners.

Kudos to calculus teacher Anthony Yom, whose 21 AP Calculus students taking the exam ALL passed—and 17 of them received the highest score of 5, indicating that a student is “extremely well qualified” for a college course in that subject. It was the third year in a row that all of Yom’s students passed the test.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Yom “treats his students like a sports team.” They even wore matching t-shirts on test day, “like they’re wearing jerseys to the game,” Yom said.

Kudos to Cedrick, and extra kudos to Anthony for making a difference in these students’ lives!

  1. Brenda White says:

    Way to go Cedric👍👍

  2. Winnie Nielsen says:

    What a powerful story you shared this morning. We need more of such stories in the mainstream media today to remind America of the many gifts our immigrant populations bring to this country and make lives better for everyone!

  3. Wow that is so impressive! Especially to a math dummy like myself. It’s all about the power of teaching and great teachers like Yom ! And it also shows that we need to let immigrants come to our country!

  4. Janice Slater says:

    What an amazing story. My husband taught AP History for many years and numerous of his students passed the test slso, many with 5’s.
    This teacher definitely is obviously doing an amazing job. My husband was very pleased that there are teachers out there still making difference.

  5. Krista says:

    This is very inspiring. I remember how difficult these tests were and realize what an amazing accomplishment it is to receive a perfect score as well as have and entire class pass the test. These results are not obtained from being lazy; they worked extremely hard to get here. Way to go Cedrick and Anthony!

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