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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  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    This little bird looks a lot like out Chickadees here in Florida. So tiny and perfect in every feather.

  2. Bonnie ellis says:

    Those little chickadees are such fun as they quickly dart from tree to tree.

  3. I adore chickadees and love their call. My grandfather could do all the bird calls and actually bring birds to him he was that good! I especially loved his chickadee call -so happy.

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My Hellebores are in bloom! Also known as Lenten Roses, these and snowdrops are the first flowers I get to feast my eyes on in early spring. I love these so much that two years ago, I planted 30 more plants—they come in a wide range of colors. A single blossom, nestled in a tea cup, will last for over a week.


  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Beautiful flowers for today which would have been my Mama’s 102 birthday. She is the one who gave me a Farmgirl Heart. She wore aprons, grew a garden outside of the kitchen, canned, was a Girl Scout Leader for over 50 years, and could do beautiful handwork and sewing of every kind. She had a big heart, showed kindness to everyone, and loved to see new places. She loved the colors of these flowers shown here in the photo today. These are for you , Mom!

    • MaryJane says:

      Some day you’ll have to tell me more about your Mamma and family. Have you ever watched Finding Your Roots on PBS? I think you’d like it.

      • Winnie Nielsen says:

        I love that show and try and watch it every week when possible. Yes, I would love to share about my Mamma and learn more about yours. From your Ideas book, I think they had a lot in common. It would be a great campfire subject to enjoy!

    • Tiffany says:

      Happy Birthday to your Momma 🙂 Thank you for sharing a piece of her with us.

  2. LOve Lenten roses, so underappreciated and lovely

  3. Sandra Vermes says:

    Finding Your Roots is my favorite show. Have you noticed the opening with the paper tree sculpture? I n
    ever have grown hellebores before, They look lovely!

  4. Bonnie ellis says:

    I am so glad you get to see something so beautiful. Those don’t grow in Minnesota. Enjoy!

  5. Nancy Coughlin says:

    Woke up to an inch of snow this morning! Freezing temps. Nothing green is growing or even poking out of the ground in northern PA. Sigh——–

  6. Bobbi Joseph says:

    I’ve never heard of Lenten Roses. Would they grow in CO?

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