Jason Fiorillo, 38, has merged his passions for science and law into a position as Senior Intellectual Property Counsel at Analog Devices – a $13 billion semiconductor manufacturer with nearly 10,000 employees. And he attributes his job to his time in foster care, saying, “Living without a safety net hardened my resolve to succeed in the world.” Jason, who lives outside Boston with his wife and two young daughters, spent only a few years in foster care in Utah before being emancipated. But emancipation brought with it increasing hardships. A state stipend of $73 a month was supposed to pay for all of his expenses as he finished high school, but fell far short. So Jason attended high school full-time and then spent nights at Kmart washing floors. “There was not a lot of time to sleep,” he recalls without irony. Despite this, Jason managed to graduate with grades high enough to earn him entry into MIT where he majored in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
Jason applied for an FC2S scholarship before he attended MIT, thanks to the watchful eye of a foster care worker. He was awarded three FC2S scholarships during college, but says the money was less important than the human touch. “OFA (then Orphan Foundation of America) was important to me in many substantial ways,” he says. “There was always someone there to talk to who had an interest in me. They gave me great, creative advice throughout the four years and were a great source of comfort.” Jason went on to earn a law degree at Stanford University before moving to the Boston area. Now, he says proudly, “Every morning I get to do exactly what I want to do at my job.”