Victor Scotti Jr. graduated from the IB Diploma Programme (DP) at Morgan Park High School, Illinois, US and continued his studies at the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in sociology. He currently works as a Global Black Community Advisor at Google and continues to serve as an advocate and mentor in his local community.
Why did you originally decide to pursue the IB Diploma Programme?
I decided to pursue the IB Diploma Programme because I was fascinated that students all over the world were using the same curriculum and assessments. I’ve always been an avid reader, primarily because it allows you to transport yourself to another space and time—all with your imagination. I was excited by the prospect of an IB education because I knew that it would give me the same global breadth and depth that would benefit me forever. It turns out I was right. I graduated from the IB Diploma Programme extremely prepared for the University of Pennsylvania because I knew how to think, write, and analyze. Additionally, it empowered me to own my learning experiences. Through classes like theory of knowledge (TOK), and explorations like the extended essay, I was always encouraged to identify and pursue what made me tick.
Which of your IB teachers inspired you most?
The IB teacher that inspired me the most was Ms. Kiyona Bradley. I took her IB English class in junior year. Her classes was so memorable because they taught me critical core skills, like writing commentaries, and her literature selections were extremely diverse—spanning different racial, religious, and cultural lines. Ms. Bradley worked hard to expose us to many ways of expressing ourselves. I vividly remember being so nervous to give my oral commentary to the class, being super excited to recognize common themes across seemingly dissimilar works, and loving the socratic method she introduced to us. Ms. Bradley is a wonderful educator; she cared about her students, she genuinely enjoyed watching us grow intellectually, and she was intentional about pushing us to explore life outside our familiar context of the South Side of Chicago.
How did you reach where you are today and what advice do you have for current students?
My advice is to work as hard as you can, maintain integrity and honesty in everything you do, forge meaningful relationships, never compare your success to anyone else’s, and always trust your journey—and yours alone. It’s taken each and every one of my high school, college, internship, and work experiences to get to the point I am today.
"My advice is to work as hard as you can, maintain integrity and honesty in everything you do, forge meaningful relationships, never compare your success to anyone else’s, and always trust your journey—and yours alone."
When I decided to pursue the DP, I knew nothing more than it would make me a better critical thinker, writer, and analytical reader. Now, I work as a Global Black Community Advisor for Google. I get to work in a thriving industry, live and work in an exciting location, and be a champion for equity for folks who look like me.
My challenge to you is to think about scale and impact in everything you do. One of the greatest lessons I’ve taken away from my technology career is to always ask myself two questions about all the work I pursue: “Instead of just helping one person, does this project have the ability to help many people?” and “Is it universally accessible to everyone, everywhere?” I implore you to think about the same two questions as you finish your IB career and move on to university and the world of work. We need your world-changing ideas!