Glendale, AZ – Tim Balzora, 19 years old and attending Glendale Community College, has a long-term career goal of using technology to improve microphones.
Tim explains, “I’m interested in things like Artificial Intelligence and Speak-to-Text, but I’m even more interested in the wave lengths of audio and the recording values of a computer microphone. I would like to improve those microphones. For instance, we currently have cardioid microphones that can pick up all sorts of sound straight on, and we also have omni-directional microphones. I want to experiment and see where we can go in creating microphones than can pick up more resonant sounds in areas, and perhaps expand the distance in which we can have an “Alexa” hear us from across the room.”
Tim was born and raised in the Phoenix-suburb of Glendale and graduated from Ironwood High School in 2017. He’s currently pursuing his associate degree at Glendale Community College and plans to transfer to Arizona State University and earn a bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering, “I plan to use my education to work my way into project management of some sort, as a career. I would like to work on projects that mostly revolve around computer hardware and technology support and help to make sure that things are running smoothly overall. As I’m working and learning, I will be focused on developing new technologies with sound and possibly in other areas”
Tim adds that his background as a classically trained pianist and composer has a strong application to his technology education, “When I take my music classes now I can apply a lot of the notation I use to write music, and to read music, to my mathematics. When I do any sort of (math) problem it really gives me different ways, and path-ways, to expand my brain and grow and learn and think outside the box.”
For Tim, music continues to be a passion, “I’ve been playing the piano for about 12 years and I’ve been singing in choirs and doing a lot of solo work for quite some time. I’ve always had an extreme passion for music and instruments, and anything that really creates sound. I’ve always been trying to create my own music and I’ve come up with a few original pieces, and I enjoy it very much and I think it’s a very important aspect of my life. Music helps me get through life and I think it’s also a very helpful tool to expand our knowledge and motivation overall. It’s an emotional drive, and it helps me build my path and really stay on track with what I’m doing.”
Meanwhile, Tim is among the students who receive specialized mentoring services through College Success Arizona’s team of highly skilled “Success Advisers,” and its partnership with the EXCEL Program, which serves students at Glendale Community College and other community colleges.
Tim’s Success Adviser is Matt Sotelo, “When I meet with Matt every other month or so, he helps to keep me on track and make sure that I’m expanding on my studies – and, he definitely asks me a lot of questions about school, and life. I really enjoy those meetings because it gives me something to look forward to as I go along in my education, and it helps me to be sure that I’m doing all of the things that I’m supposed to be doing to achieve my goals. The Excel Program has definitely helped me a lot to grow in a community of other students – we have peer mentors as well – and, we all help each other learn more about what opportunities there are around campus, and off campus. Also, being here at GCC is a very exhilarating feeling to sort of find my direction in what it is that I want to do in my career and finding the motivation to continue my education in the direction in which I’m headed. As I take a lot of my classes in college – something that I didn’t really experience in high school is that almost every class that I take, even if I don’t get a good start to it, I can find some way to apply whatever it is that I’m learning to creating some form of technology to eventually start a business of some sort.”
Tim has some advice for middle and high school students considering college:
“I say to anybody who is planning to attend college, ‘definitely don’t be afraid to just jump right in.’ Everything that can be very stressful about going to college can be fixed by asking a simple question and raising your hand. I would say that are no stupid questions and there is no discrimination because we are all here to learn, and the professors are all here to teach. Also, keep a good schedule for yourself, because that has helped me out a lot. Make sure that you’re planning out your life day by day, because doing that will help keep you organized and eventually achieve your goals.”
Tim tells us that his dad is among his role models, “A big encouragement to get my college education has always been my father, because he completed his bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, and has worked in the field of Change Management for many different industries and companies. My dad is excited that I was inspired by him in that I want to sort of follow in his footsteps of going into business, and that I’m pursuing a college education to further that potential.”
Since 2005, College Success Arizona has worked with nearly 1,300 students, and provided more than 16 million dollars in scholarships and success services to help increase the college attainment rate in Arizona. If you would like to be part of the mission of providing educational opportunity to high potential students from low income circumstances, your tax-deductible contribution can be made through the “Donate” button on the top of this page.