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Cleveland high school student walks to school daily to fulfill dream of being a scientist

Wants to make his next stop MIT
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Posted at 9:08 AM, Feb 15, 2022

CLEVELAND — Mussa Wisoba is a shining example of what can happen when potential, opportunity and drive intersect at school.

The 16-year-old junior at John Marshall School of Information Technology (JMIT) is going the distance for education. He walks three miles to and from school every day. Every step is getting him closer to his dream. "I want to be a scientist more than anything," smiled Wisoba.

He says with all his after-school activities he often gets too busy and doesn't grab a bus ticket after school in the office.

So, he walks.

His parents have gone the distance for the American dream; the family immigrated to Cleveland from Tanzania in 2016.

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Mussa Wisoba

"For me, like English, I didn't even know the alphabet," he said.

He and his siblings studied children's books from a neighbor to learn English.

Now, Wisoba is studying physics and quantum science, and hoping to go to MIT.

"It is the only university I want to go to, and it's really hard," he said. "So, I'm really pushing forward to get to there."

Wisoba said it wasn't until he came to Cleveland and was exposed to teachers and opportunities that he fully realized his talent and passion for science, technology, engineering and math.

"I think the role of teacher is to see the talent and bring it out and expose them to the resources that are available in the district," said Daisy Pedavada, a teacher at JMIT.

At JMIT, Wisoba has had the opportunity to take AP courses, participate in healthcare sector partnerships, and receive web development training just to name a few.

He also started his own SAT prep club and recruited other kids to join.

"He's so dedicated," said Pedavada.

"I just love learning," said Wisoba.

It was an educator who first told News 5 about Wisoba; impressed by his talent and tenacity. They also wanted to show the opportunities for kids to excel in Cleveland and how much they mean to the students and teachers working with them.

Wisoba says he wants to stay in Cleveland for his professional career if the right opportunity presents itself.

He embodies the potential of so many young minds and the importance of going the distance to help each discover and reach their dreams.

"We all have dreams but it's about how hard you work for it," said Wisoba.

Speaking of opportunity, Wisoba is trying to establish a summer research program with IBM's first private-sector, on-site quantum computer at the Cleveland Clinic.

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