Cooper Weissman working on a motherboard

Category : CREST

Student on a Mission, Creating a Future of Success

Tuesday , November 09 , 2021

The Center for Research in Engineering, Science, and Technology (CREST), exclusively offered at Paradise Valley High School, prepares students for leadership roles and future careers.

The Computer Science strand is the catalyst that sparked Cooper Weissman’s, a junior in the program, goal-oriented endeavors. "The CREST program has allowed me to achieve many of my goals, including currently being employed as a junior developer for DevTeamSix, a BlockChain Development company, and to help students around America achieve their financial goals," says Cooper.

Each school year, the three individual CREST strands of Bioscience, Computer Science, and Engineering accept only 50 incoming ninth graders through a competitive application process. Students receive nurturing, resources, mentorship, and a high-level peer group interaction during their four years in CREST.

Cooper Weissman"CREST isn't just about content; it's about relationships and resources. Learning the content from your CREST teachers is essential, but it's about CREST's value. Taking advantage of the resources, guidance, and relationships that the program offers will bring your passions to a completely new and unexplored level,” says Cooper. 

Through CREST, Computer Science students are encouraged to use their skill sets to pursue opportunities outside of the classroom, such as participating in local and national competitions and earning Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) certifications. "The front-end development skills that I learned in CREST gave me the foundation to be recognized as a national finalist at the eCybermission Engineering Fair and to land my job," he says.

The most exciting aspect of Cooper's CREST Computer Science strand is the collaboration with other brilliant developers. He's currently organizing a team of CREST developers to create a personal finance app that will provide tremendous value to its users. The app will include tools for managing personal finance and a series of lessons to educate people about money. Cooper has spearheaded the Mission Millionaire student club on campus. 

"Since cash flow, taxes, investments, and financial literacy aren't taught in schools; most people begin their careers without being educated on how to use their money. Mission Millionaire offers students weekly meetings discussing the most important topics to our financial futures. We invite local entrepreneurs and experts to attend and share their experiences. Our next main focus is to expand our club to other schools within the district," says Cooper.

Cooper attributes his successes in CREST to the teachers at Paradise Valley High School. To him, they are more than just teachers; they are mentors. "I receive guidance from teachers at the school in every walk of life. I hold my relationships with Mrs. Verma and Mrs. Cannon very close; they have helped me in Computer Science. Also, my two sponsors of Mission Millionaire, Mr. Libretti and Mr. Bowman have made all of my dreams possible. The staff on campus go above and beyond the job description," he explains.

Cooper is paying it forward and is fortunate to help his brother pay tuition at the University of Michigan. "Through my job at DevTeamSix, we have launched some very successful tokens. Investing in these projects has allowed me to assist my brother and make out-of-state college a financial possibility. For me, being able to take some stress off of my brother has been extremely rewarding," he says.

Cooper's post-secondary plan is to major in Computer Science at either the University of Michigan or the University of Southern California. 

CREST is currently accepting applications for the 2022-23 school year. Learn more about the CREST program.