When it comes to journeys to MIT, Manuel Morales, a doctoral candidate in the Harvard-MIT Program in Health Sciences and Technology, has taken a different tack.
As a high school student in Orlando, Florida, Morales admired the Navy, inspired by ideas of commitment and sacrifice for nation and family, as portrayed in old war movies he used to watch at the cinema with his mom, Maria. Morales enlisted in the Navy right after his high school graduation, leaving his hometown for a life at sea.
Looking back, he says, there were a few moments in his naval training that set him on course to MIT. In bootcamp, trainees who got a perfect score on the naval training exam would be allowed a one-hour phone call home — a priceless prize for Morales. He studied furiously and, to his surprise, found that he enjoyed it. Later, after receiving an…
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