BY ANDI ATKINSON
HARLINGEN — When he first came to Marine Military Academy, Giancarlo Betti Hernandez of Huixquilucan, Mexico, was just 13 years old and hardly knew any English.
Yet, he set a very clear goal: to become the MMA battalion commander. Five years later, that’s exactly what he is.
“Though I was at a disadvantage with the language and the culture, I did not allow these conditions to hinder my efforts. Even though I was knocked down at times (mentally), I always stood back up,” Betti Hernandez said.
His positive attitude, strong work ethic and overall ability to get things done allowed him to move up the ranks quickly. Now a senior, Betti Hernandez holds the highest cadet rank at MMA.
“I want to lead by example, as someone that can succeed in every possible aspect. I want to be the best battalion commander there ever was,” Betti Hernandez said.
This cadet leader simply wants to be the best at anything he does, which clearly shows on his high school resume.
In this eighth-grade year, Betti Hernandez joined CyberPatriot, a cybersecurity club that teaches youth how to protect computers from hackers and cyberterrorism.
In his junior year, he became captain of the team. In his sophomore year, Betti Hernandez was inducted into the National Honor Society. Today he is the president.
As if those accomplishments were not enough, Betti Hernandez is also presently tied for valedictorian for the Class of 2017.
After he graduates from MMA, Betti plans to move to a new country. He plans to study cybersecurity in England at Royal Holloway, University of London.
He plans to become a cybersecurity specialist and eventually own his own company.
“Cybersecurity is really about protecting people, not just computers. I want to help the honest and hard-working people of the world and defend them from hackers who want to steal their information and their money,” Betti Hernandez said.