The world of education is filled with hard workers — hard-working teachers, hard-working administrators and, of course, hard-working students. In recognition of the great students and schools in our neighborhoods, The Northside Chronicle is profiling just a few of them in this weekly blog feature.

Chronicle intern Tracy Patinksi sat down with students from many Northside schools to talk about their dreams and goals. These students work hard day in and day out to make their families and teachers proud, and each one was nominated for these profiles by their teachers and principals for their accomplishments in academics, sports, arts and more.

Photo by Tracy Patinski
Photo by Tracy Patinski

Robert Morris, a precocious seventh grade student at Allegheny Middle School, is already planning how to run his first business.

Plan A involves attending and eventually running the university that shares his name, Robert Morris University in Moon, Pa.

“I could be the funny guy and just walk in and say, my name’s Robert Morris, I should go here,” he said. And then, after a pause and a laugh, “I could possibly be the new owner of Robert Morris.”

But should ownership of Robert Morris University fall through, Robert wants to attend the University of Pittsburgh, and eventually own his own restaurant. If that doesn’t work out, he plans to look into other types of businesses, or possibly become a teacher.

“I’ve seen people manage a business, and it seems cool to me,” he said. “I just want to run a business for some reason. As long as it’s not all girly. I like to take charge of things.”

And while these are big plans, Robert seems well on his way to success. With a calm voice, air of confidence and laidback attitude, he comes across as a natural leader. Listening to Robert talk about his goals, it’s easy to imagine him as a business owner.

In the meantime, Robert works hard to keep good grades. He has attended Allegheny since fifth grade, and previously attended Spring Hill Elementary and Martin Luther King Elementary.

According to Robert, his school year has been going well so far. This year, his schedule includes Japanese, math, reading, social studies, science, art and communications, with math and Japanese as his favorite classes.

“My parents allow me to take the responsibility of my homework,” he said about his study habits.

When he’s not in school, Robert enjoys baseball and basketball, drawing, playing video games and hanging out with his older sister, who is a great role model. One of his favorite extracurricular activities is the Be a 6th Grade Mentor program, in which community members come to the school to spend time with the students.

“It gives me a chance to do something outside of the house, and it gives me someone to talk about stuff with besides my parents,” he said.

For the future, Robert is looking for a high school that will continue to challenge him, particularly in the areas of science and technology. He stressed the importance of doing well in school and pursing success. Even in seventh grade, Robert has a clear sense of his priorities.

“I guess a message to kids would be stay in school, do your best, and don’t act a fool just to get attention,” he said with conviction.