Cristo Rey Boston High School

News & Features » Lawrence Gustama: A Sense of Urgency

Lawrence Gustama: A Sense of Urgency

“I have a sense of urgency about getting to college and beginning to discover what the rest of my life is going to look like,” shared Lawrence Gustama. A senior, Lawrence is engaged in the rite of passage all college-bound seniors find themselves in – stressing over applications and choices.  
He acknowledged that it has been difficult at times, balancing the need to find the right fit college that will provide the necessary scholarship money to make it all happen. “Right now, it has been one hard decision after another, and I am just feeling incredibly stressed. My mom and older sister are enrolled in college right now, so my financial aid package will be a determining factor in my decision." 
Lawrence continued, “Though the college process is hard, I want to emphasize how CRB has an amazing college counseling team. Throughout this stressful time with the college process, they have been there to support me and guide me through it. The extra support that the CRB College Counseling team gives you is so important during the process.”  
“Ideally, I would like to study business in college since I have seen firsthand how many avenues there are to pursue,” Lawrence noted. He continued, “My Corporate Work Study placement at JPMorgan Chase & Company (JPM) has opened my eyes to the dynamic nature of the business world. Although I work in the Business Office Services department, JPM has allowed me to sit with various groups within the company to gain more exposure to their fields of business.”  
“I recently spent time with a sales group responsible for bringing new deals into the company. They showed me how the process worked and gave me a new perspective on the work at a big company,” Lawrence recalled. He loves the sense of community and energy that happens when he is at work. 
Looking back, the promise of work experience brought him to Cristo Rey Boston in the first place. He recalled, "Something about Cristo Rey Boston appealed to me; I wanted the opportunity to learn about the business world, and having that opportunity is what pushed me to attend CRB." 
“My advice to incoming students is to keep your head up and stay on your toes.” He noted that certain subjects are sometimes challenging for him and that he has had to work hard in specific areas to achieve success. "I always get my work done; understanding that I have the intelligence I need to succeed; I just need to stay focused and attentive. My best attributes in school are my tenacity and hard work.” 
“You must want what is best for yourself and speak up to be your own advocate,” Lawrence continued. “I want people to know how important it is to advocate against things you don't believe are fair or just push against things to make them better and benefit you and others. It’s important that people advocate for better resources in their school, lives, and communities.” 
 Lawrence is a committed volunteer at the Codman Square Farmers Market. Admitting that initially, he was coerced into volunteering by an older cousin, he has become incredibly committed to the project. “In our community, there is a lack of healthy food options, and people often have no choice but to choose low-cost options that lack nutritional value. We work hard to bring healthier options, fresh fruit, and vegetables into the community at minimal or no cost. It is one of the places where I have found my voice and feel confident speaking out about something I feel passionate about." 
A member of the National Honor Society and the track team, where he competes in the 100 and 200 sprints, Lawrence also enjoys art classes. Recently, he completed a project for Hispanic Heritage Month by creating a 3D project that connects an object to a specific memory. Inspired by artist Daniel Lind-Ramos, who uses found things to inspire his work, students started their projects by writing about the object, selecting two words describing the memory, and then creating something that translated it into something physical. Lawrence's finished design incorporates the memory of him and his sister making forts together as children.
He recalls a happy childhood with lots of fun with his sister and cousins. He will join his mom, who attends nursing school, and his sister, who is in her first year at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth when he begins his college journey next fall. A Posse Scholars finalist, he hopes to attend an HBCU (historically black college or university) but is realistic about financial aid driving the final decision.  
“Ultimately, I am excited to see where college takes me, experience the ups and downs of college, and see what happens. I am my best motivation; I want to give 100% and keep myself open to all the experiences coming my way. My plan is to stay true to myself and continue to bring my passion to everything I approach in college.”