Alexander Osiecki showed up to school every day since kindergarten because as a child he thought he could win a prize.
“It all started when I was younger and my parents told me that someone won a bike from having perfect attendance,” Osiecki said. “Six-year-old me was like, ‘A bike sounds pretty cool!'”
He graduated last week from DeVry University Advantage Academy High School — not with a bike but with a 13-year track record of perfect attendance.
Osiecki said he aspired to always go to school.
“It never mattered how bad I felt because I just kept on trucking,” he said. “It’s only eight hours. It’s not that bad.”
Osiecki, 18, completed a dual degree program at DeVry, studying graphic design alongside his high school courses in his junior and senior years. He attended Inner-American from kindergarten until eighth grade. Before transferring to DeVry, he went to Ogden International High School for two years.
His mother, Nilma, said she supported him along the way, even when he was sick.
“He’s always been very unique in his own way. He started [perfect attendance] early on because that’s what he wanted to do, even if that meant sending him to school with a fever,” she said.
Three weeks from now, the family will celebrate his second graduation where he will receive his associate’s degree. In the fall, the Portage Park native will attend Columbia College where he will study graphic design and fashion design. He said he believes his perfect attendance record has set him up for the future.
“It’ll show a lot of professors that I’m dedicated to my work and can persevere,” Osiecki said.