Freshman earns Microsoft Master certification, sets record

Freshman+Alex+Jenks+shows+off+his+Microsoft+skills+by+changing+the+color+of+the+background+on+a+Word+document.

Alex O'Brien

Freshman Alex Jenks shows off his Microsoft skills by changing the color of the background on a Word document.

Fatima Elfakahany, Reporter, Photographer

When most think of freshman year, they associate it with an adjustment period with no serious expectation to excel to a position few adults possess. Yet, freshman Alex Jenks defies this classification of freshmen with his recently awarded accolade of Microsoft Master.

“I was really happy,” said Jenks. “I use Microsoft almost daily. I use it for nearly everything, and I get really accustomed to it, so it’s good to be recognized.”

Pullquote Photo

It’s pretty funny,” Jenks said. “I’m happy I got it, but I actually made a joke about it after I got it. Online, see, it’s called the Microsoft Office Masters, so I’m a MOM now.”

— Alex Jenks

The Microsoft IT Academy program sits as a career ready education program, designed to provide students with technological skills necessary to acquire certification and the ability to prove competitive in today’s more technology-centered workplace.

“It’s recognized by the industry, so it’s recognized globally, which increases the credibility of anyone applying for a job if they hold a recognition award from the program,” said business and finance teacher Ms. Davis, who teaches Jenks.

Through the Financial Management Pathway, students at NC acquired over 200 Microsoft Office certifications, ranging from Specialist to Expert to Master. Jenks rests as one of two only NC students to receive this honor, along with senior Elijah Thom and only a handful of students in the state and country earn it each year.

“It’s pretty funny,” Jenks said. “I’m happy I got it, but I actually made a joke about it after I got it. Online, see, it’s called the Microsoft Office Masters, so I’m a MOM now.”

Jenks worked with Ms. Davis and Ms. Cox since the midpoint of the year in order to obtain his certifications. He spent a lot of time developing his skills for the exam, but remained well-versed with Microsoft Office even before.

“Alex is a phenomenal student,” said Davis. “He’s just an awesome kid with a great personality, very likable, and he’s so dedicated to computers and to programming. He loves doing the Microsoft Office and we wanted to help him achieve what he could.”

Although young, Jenks possesses a dream for his future career and goals.

Alex with his teacher Ms. Davis, excited with earning such a distinguished accolade.
Courtesy of Ms. Davis
Alex with his teacher Ms. Davis, excited with earning such a distinguished accolade.

“I’ll most likely study computer science in college, and I’d really like to be a software developer,” he said. “That’s what I do anyway, and making money off of it, something I enjoy, would be pretty fun.”

As for his most immediate plans, he said simply, “The first step would be to finish this semester of high school, then over the summer I’ll be working with some friends to make mobile applications, which I’m excited about.”

His mentors, Ms. Cox and Ms. Davis, remain proud of what Jenks has accomplished and what he will undoubtedly accomplish in the future.

“When he finished that test, I felt as if he were my son, I was just so proud,” said Davis. “He’s going to be the next Bill Gates, because he just does his work like that. He has a certification few adults even have, and I know he’ll continue to accomplish great things.”