May 26, 2017

 

The 2017 valedictorian at Broad Ripple Magnet High School
for the Arts and Humanities said obtaining the No. 1 spot wasn’t his ultimate
goal when he arrived his freshman year.

 

“I just did what I had to do and, eventually, it got me where
I am today,” said 18-year-old Andres Calvillo, matter-of-factly.Andres

 

It’s this laid-back but determined attitude that will probably
serve Andres well as he heads to IUPUI’s School of Informatics in the fall.
Informatics is such a versatile field — including everything from data analyst
to web designer — that there are multiple careers in which to choose, but
Andres has a clear view of what he wants to do with his degree.

 

“My long-term goal is to be a video game programmer. I would
love to create sandbox games (in which players move freely through a virtual
world and have the freedom to choose objectives),” said Andres. “With sandbox
games, you go at your own pace and the possibilities are endless. It’s just
something that you can play forever.” 

 

His fascination with video games started at a young age. For
Andres, being able to be in control of a virtual world or person or thing
helped him to forget — if only temporarily — the verbal bullying he endured in elementary
and junior high school for, what he believes, was not “fitting in” with the
crowd.

 

“Video games are a very impactful interest of mine, because
it helps me. It was a way to cope with stress,” said Andres. “If I ever felt
sad or was having a bad day, the games were a way to cope with those things.”

 

Andres said during those times, he also leaned on his
parents for support. “They always had a way to comfort me and told me that
(while it didn’t seem like it at the time) there will always be kind people in
the world who genuinely want to be your friends.”

 

These day, Andres isn’t concerned about fitting in. He said
he doesn’t have to at Broad Ripple, where there are so many different
personalities and people doing diverse things. In addition to his studies,
Andres serves as the concert master for the school’s advanced orchestra. He’s
been studying the violin since sixth-grade, but said it’s just a hobby.

 

While creating and developing video games is definitely in
his future, Andres hasn’t had much time to play them lately. He’s been putting
all of his focus on school and “maintaining my grades and finishing strong.”