Model High’s Gregory (Trey) Thompson has joined an elite list of high school students across the state to earn Microsoft Master Certification. Last year, only nine students in Georgia earned the Microsoft Office Specialist Master Certificate. Thompson, a junior at Model, is a student in the Business and Technology Pathway at Model High School, which became part of the Microsoft IT Academy last year. The IT Academy allows high school students to earn industry standard certifications formerly available only at the post-secondary level.
The remarkable aspect of Thompson earning this rare distinction is that he is “legally blind.” In first grade Thompson learned that he was affected by the genetic disorder Bilateral Optic Nerve Atrophy, which severely limits his vision. Trey, a straight “A” student at Model, is quick to point out that he will not allow the condition to define him or to limit his success. Thompson is the embodiment of his favorite quote by Benjamin Franklin, “Diligence is the mother of all success.” He uses magnification to enlarge text and images on the computer screen, allowing him to view only a portion of the screen at any one time. “Reaching Master Certification status is a tremendous accomplishment,” stated his business teacher, William Hosmer. “Realizing the goal within the environment that Trey must work is absolutely phenomenal.”
“Once Trey heard that earning the Master certificate was the Microsoft Office equivalent of becoming an Eagle Scout, he made it his goal to achieve it,” added Hosmer. Thompson was the first student at Model High School to earn five Microsoft certificates and he has now earned a total of seven. When asked what motivated him, Thompson responded, “I am sort of a collector, once I earned a couple of certificates, I wanted to have them all.” He also holds the high score records at Model High School in Access 2010 and Excel Expert 2010.
Thompson’s success in Microsoft certification has sparked a career interest. “Gaining these certifications has boosted my confidence and increased my interest in the IT field,” Thompson said. “Maybe I could even work for Microsoft Corporation someday.” In March of 2015, Thompson will close in on another goal when he tests for his black belt in Tae Kwon Do. He also enjoys math and is a member of the newly reactivated chapter 434 of FBLA at Model.