Kamehameha's 'most promising computer science student' set off alarms at first

Kamehameha's 'most promising computer science student' set off IT alarms at first
Published: May. 18, 2017 at 9:35 PM HST|Updated: May. 19, 2017 at 10:46 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - When Kamehameha Schools confiscated a student's laptop after he set of several IT alarms, they never imagined they'd discover a teen who's already being called the school's "most promising computer science student."

Now, it seems 17-year-old junior Nick Wong may be already be making the same impression in Silicon Valley.

When Wong was just a freshman, he created a social website called "Hack the Hill," which ended up being used by 800 fellow students in the first 24 hours. Before long, two-thirds of the entire high school had logged on.

"I made a website that my friends can go on, to see who else are in their classes that they registered for," said Wong.

By using his school laptop, he set off a network alarm in the Kamehameha IT department, which initially thought he might have hacked into the system.

"When I got the error message and it said 'your system administrator has been alerted,' I was like ... oh!" he said.

Turns out, he didn't have a needed password, so his laptop was confiscated.

"I was kinda scared," admits Wong.

Concerns quickly eased when the school discovered Wong was a teen tech wiz who could code and communicate in different web languages.

"(His skills) are pretty well developed for someone of his age. It's really impressive to see what he can do," said Wong's computer science teacher, Stephanie Lee.

During this past spring break, Wong wanted to network in Silicon Valley, so Kamehameha helped make that happen. Together, they convinced twelve high-tech firms to open their doors for a meeting, including Google, Facebook and eBay.

The meetings included some Hawaii ex-pats and Kamehameha alum.

"These places are really elaborate. It really blew me away, how much resources they have and how big their reach is," said Wong.

Wong wants to break into the tech industry. He says one tech exec told him he's already done that.

"If you can get your foot in the door at these large companies, like eBay, Facebook or Google, then you are pretty much guaranteed a position, a job at these companies," said Wong.

Wongs hopes to get into Stanford or Berkeley and then work in Silicon Valley. After that, he wants to run his own start-up company.

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