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Personal Statement for the National Merit Competition. This was written by the BigNerd himself. "Would you please get the mail," my mother implored as I entered the door. Heading towards the mailbox, I wondered if I would find daily assortment of bills and catalogues or something interesting addressed to me. To my delight, the first item was the new issue of PC Computing. Ever since I was introduced to computers when I was five, I have been fascinated by them. The summer before my sophomore year of high school, I wrote a program called Quickchange 95 using Visual Basic. This program changed the startup and shutdown screens of Windows 95. I distributed the program via shareware archives on the Internet, and I received email from all over the world about my creation. I shuffled through one of my mother's clothing catalogues to find my issue of Money Magazine. I have been interested in business and finance since the day which we started studying the stock market in fifth grade. The summer before my junior year, I combined my interests in business and computers by starting a web design company with a friend. We created a web site for a local bike shop which is only one of two bike shops in Connecticut to have a presence on the Internet. Currently, I am the head web designer for my school. I intend to combine computers and business in my future career. My goal is to work on the business side of a computer firm, and eventually, I would like to start my own computer company. A board of education letter of commendation for my participation in the FIRST robotics program also arrived today. I have been able to develop my entrepreneurial skills through the FIRST robotics program. FIRST is a national engineering competition in which partnerships are formed between local businesses and high schools to design and build a robot-like machine. The team has about six weeks to build a machine, that must be able to compete in a timed sporting event. I have been involved in FIRST each year of my high school career. Last year, I was team captain, and our team finished fourth in the country out of one hundred and fifty-six teams. As a result of my involvement with FIRST, I have improved my confidence, my leadership, and my team working abilities. FIRST gave me experience working with a diverse group of people with a variety of skills. Working alongside engineers from our sponsor company, International Fuel Cells, exposed me to the professional world beyond the classroom. I have a great appreciation for this program which has challenged me to bring out the best in myself and others. My l

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