By Doyoon Kim
Pasadena Weekly Contributing Writer

Adam Elkobaitry, a Pasadena native and recent graduate of Polytechnic High School, wants to work in the booming tech industry by designing artificial intelligence.

“AI is such a rapidly expanding field, and it’s taking over all parts of our world,” Elkobaitry said. “I want to bring AI together with human behavior to bring it even closer to the human perspective.”

His interest in the field stems from his mother, who is a computer scientist; new technologies have always been a big part of his life.

His father, Hesham, is a marketing manager for UPS. Elkobaitry was a recent recipient of a scholarship — the UPS 2021 James E. Casey Scholarship — exclusive to children of UPS employees. He will receive $2,500 per year for the next four years as he heads off to Northeastern University.

He received the news about the scholarship from his school counselor.

“I was surprised,” Elkobaitry said. “I honestly forgot about the scholarship because there was a lot going on at the time with school, college applications, and writing essays and such. It was such an honor to be selected for the UPS scholarship.”

Elkobaitry said the scholarship relieved financial pressure, allowing him to take out a smaller student loan for college. He will double major in computer science and behavioral neuroscience, and minor in economics. He said he feels these classes are critical to his business success.

He was admitted to Northeastern University’s Honors Program, a program for a select group of students based on their academics, leadership qualities, community service and entrepreneurial spirit. In addition to the James E. Casey scholarship, Elkobaitry was awarded the Northeastern Honors Scholarship, which will provide additional help with his tuition.

Elkobaitry is most excited about Northeastern’s Co-Op program, which allows students to get work experience for about six months. He will have opportunities to work with tech giants like Amazon, Google and Facebook and intends to learn about the intricacies of business and technology. Upon graduation, Elkobaitry hopes to work in startups by transforming a small company into the next big tech company.

Polytechnic School is a nonprofit, independent school in Southern California. On top of schoolwork and taking classes in computer science, Elkobaitry was a school ambassador, the junior and senior class president, and he played soccer all four years of high school.

Elkobaitry said he believes education is important because it provides a solid foundation for continued learning throughout life. Elkobaitry said he’d like to thank his parents for being his greatest supporters and for helping him stay interested in academics.