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Meet Our Scholars

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Ari Peró

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Urban Studies and Planning, Music



Synchrony Foundation Scholarship

Up until 10th grade, Ari Peró’s entire life had revolved around the study of classical voice. They never expected to end up a science junkie among art nerds, but it only took one CrashCourse video before they became hooked on theoretical physics. Alongside this fascination, Ari is also committed to making a difference for those around them, having been effecting political change since before they were old enough to vote. Throughout high school, Ari held public office as chair of their local town hall’s Youth Council Committee. In February 2018, Ari helped found Students Demand Action, a national nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to ending gun violence. In 2020, Ari’s work in issue advocacy and as Senior Class President further led them into the world of criminal justice reform. A first-generation American born to Afro-Cuban and Indigenous Venezuelan parents, Ari grew up immersed in two cultures. Years of rejecting assimilation taught them to always find pride in their identity. Ari realized that they were gay at the age of 10 and came out again, as non-binary, at age 15. Despite having hidden these realities from family for so long, Ari has never once felt ashamed of their truth. Whether they’re registering new voters, diving into a physics textbook, or serving as president of one of seven school organizations, Ari is nothing if not dedicated. While attending MIT, Ari hopes to apply their experience in empowering Hispanic and LGBTQ+ communities to the work of increasing diversity in higher education and scientific research.

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