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Valedictorian – Christian Martinez
In his own words, “if a few things had gone slightly different, I probably wouldn’t be close to the position I’m in now. Nonetheless, life managed to make things work out for me (or maybe it was me that made everything happen, but that’s a hard line to differentiate).”
Christian Martinez, the valedictorian of Juarez-Lincoln High School, grew up in Mission, Texas “with the most supportive family ever.” Martinez said his mom and dad, Maria and Hector Martinez, have always done what they could for him and his siblings.
Martinez’s brother and sister have always been there “to guide one another through everything life decides to throw at us.” He noted that if it wasn’t for them all, he wouldn’t be where he is now.
“Over the past two years, nonetheless, I’ve learned a lot about myself and what I want from me,” Martinez said. “I’ve grown into a person I never would’ve imagined myself as a few years ago, and I’m grateful for the countless experiences that have shaped me into who I am now.”
Martinez will be attending Yale University in the fall after earning a QuestBridge Scholarship as well as being one of 300 students in the country to earn a Gates Foundation Scholarship. He intends to major in astrophysics.
During his time at Juarez-Lincoln High School, Martinez participated in National Honors Society and accumulated over 100 hours of community service. In addition, he was part of the orchestra, where he plays solo and ensemble.
Martinez was part of the Robotics Club and University Interscholastic League (UIL) in mathematics, computer science, and number sense, where he made it to District Champions and advanced to Regionals.
“My goals alone have been my motivation to get me as far as I’ve come, and they continue to drive me forward,” Martinez said. “As I enter this next stage of my life, I hope to become someone that’s capable of bringing change not just for myself, but for those that have helped me along the way, and those that always deserved a chance of their own.”
Salutatorian – Yaired Aguilar
Yaired Aguilar is the Salutatorian for the class of 2020 at La Joya Juarez-Lincoln High School. She is the eldest of three children and enjoys traveling with her family.
Aguilar values family time and is hoping to travel more with them in the future. In her spare time she enjoys reading her favorite book A Study in Charlotte, watching Criminal Minds, or solving a new puzzle.
During her time at Juarez-Lincoln High School, Aguilar was actively involved at Juarez-Lincoln High School in UIL, Book Club, VASE, and GSA. Many hours were spent on campus, and her most memorable memories of her high school career was spending time with her friends.
Aguilar’s favorite classes are math and engineering, and while she said these classes were challenging for her, they ultimately inspired her to major in electrical engineering. Aguilar will attend Texas A&M-Higher Education at McAllen.
Her hard work and dedication has paid off for Aguilar, since she always had a goal of attending Texas A&M. Aguilar attributes her success to all those teachers that have taught her from her elementary, middle, and her high school career. It has been their help, advice, and patience throughout the years that has led her to where she is now.
She is also grateful to her counselors that have guided and supported her to make the right decisions. Aguilar has learned to never give up, to be persistent, and to dream big. She believes that there are no limits to your goals and anything can be achieved.
A quote that kept her going is “Never Flinch, Never Fear, Never Ever Forget” by Jay Kristoff. She is proud to be a Husky.
Third-Ranking Student – Alicia Chavez
Alicia Chavez, a graduate of the Juarez-Lincoln High School Class of 2020, is the third-ranking student. She noted she comes from a Hispanic family that has “always wanted the best for me since my parents themselves did not have a chance to pursue a higher education, which is what they have always wanted for me.”
Being in the top 3 of her graduating class is a great honor according to Chavez, because she knows her whole family is extremely proud of her. She especially noted her older sister has always helped and enabled Chavez to join the clubs she wanted, as well as encouraged her in both life and academics.
Throughout her high school career, Chavez joined sports, FCCLA, Leo club, and U.I.L.
“Being a part of those extracurricular activities helped me become more confident and a better community member,” Chavez said. “While I enjoyed being a part of those clubs, I always remembered that my academics came first, so I always pushed myself to complete my assignments and get A’s.”
Chavez is a National Hispanic Scholar. She said that having had the perseverance and determination to accomplish this, without her parents constantly reminding her to do it, helped Chavez learn that she is a person that accomplishes whatever she sets her mind to.
“Because of this, I am extremely confident in myself that I will pursue and accomplish all of my goals,” Chavez said. “I will attend either UTRGV or Baylor [University] to obtain a bachelor’s and then a master’s degree in nursing, to have the future my parents enabled me to have by giving me all their love and support.”