Scholar of the Week

Lucas Cusati
Cornell University
Northrop Grumman

For Lucas Cusati, the value of an education is not only what can be gained, but also what can be given back. In recognition of his aptitude for knowledge and commitment to helping others, Lucas was awarded the Northrop Grumman Scholarship, presented by Great Minds in STEM at the 2019 Conference. Currently attending Cornell University, Lucas plans to graduate with a Bachelor of Sciences in Computer and Information Science in May 2022.

Since he was born, Lucas has been shaped by the experiences of his family, and their heritage. After moving to Brooklyn, New York from Ponce, Puerto Rico in search of better lives, Lucas’s grandparents made sure that despite the dangers and distractions in their new neighborhood, their children would have an education. Through Lucas’s grandmother ‘s work as a seamstress and his grandfather in a local diner, both of his uncles went on to receive graduate degrees and his mother a medical doctorate. Having been raised in a safer environment, Lucas never failed to understand how education brought a better life to his family and how it could help him reach his highest potential.

As part of realizing his potential, Lucas was encouraged by his parents to take part in their community, where in addition to joining the Eagle Scouts, he built training obstacles for the Guide Dog Foundation and rehabilitated the Scudder Burial Grounds. From an early age, Lucas recognized a high number of military personnel in his extended family and inspired by their service, created Squadron 154, an ongoing group of over 70 student musicians who gather to perform for the sometimes-Isolated veterans at the Northport VA nursing home. Lucas shares about Squadron 154, “I created an organization to fill that emptiness and create a positive and healing environment through the gift of music.”

Since elementary school, Lucas has found a calling for computer coding and programming and sought to learn all he could about the subject. Once in high school, Lucas nurtured his love for STEM by taking advanced physics and mathematics courses and learning many coding languages, including C++, Java, Python, and HTML. For his aptitude for learning, Lucas received many academic and musical awards in high school, graduating Cum Laude and earning acceptance to Cornell University. In the summer of 2019, Lucas made a breakthrough towards his dream job, securing an internship through the Microsoft Mentorship Program.

In addition to his many accomplishments, Lucas is currently working as a freelance music composer for video game developers in Peru and strives to use his extensive knowledge of coding languages to represent his Hispanic heritage in all his achievements. For his dedication to STEM and enriching his community, GMiS is proud to recognize Lucas as Scholar of the Week.

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