For years, he went by his middle name, MacGillivray, in most circles including varsity debate, Nordquist ballroom dancing and performing with the jazz group "Jazmos." These days he's Gordon Allen who grew up in Sebastopol, where he is now a sophomore attending Analy High.
He has a reputation as a level-headed, smart and funny guy as likely to speak at a city council meeting on the merits of Wi-Fi as he is to wax poetic about his favorite food: Nutella chocolate spread.
Indeed, it was his City Council speech that drew the attention of Sonic.net chief executive Dane Jasper and won him a paid summer internship at the Santa Rosa Internet service provider.
"He is a very bright young man with a lot of energy, and we enjoyed working with him," Jasper said.
"It was pretty good working at Sonic," Allen said. "I worked in operations in the Wi-Fi division and worked on installing networks. It was really technical."
He thinks he was viewed as a kind of teen evangelist for Wi-Fi last summer at Sonic.net.
"I did things like compiling a list of residents that we needed because of their geographic placement," he said.
Key to the teen's success in an adult work environment was his ability to communicate well. He credits his devotion to debate and forensics.
He made the varsity debate team in his freshman year. He is his school's Lincoln-Douglas team captain this year and National Forensics League team president for the 2009-2010 year.
"This year I competed at every league tournament and I qualified for state championships," he said.