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Valedictorian Yazmin Cortez
Mission High School has named Yazmin Cortez as their Class of 2020 valedictorian. She is the daughter of Vicente and Maria Cortez.
Cortez’s plans are to attend the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and pursue a degree in engineering. Her ultimate goal is to obtain a doctoral degree in the same field and become a manager at an engineering company.
Cortez would like to get some experience in the business world first, and then become professor at a university. As a UTRGV Merit Scholar, she looks forward to attending college and even more excited that her friends will be attending as well.
Cortez comes from a family of scholars; her brother and a sister were both salutatorians of their class. She said that ever since she was a little girl, her teachers gave her the nickname of “Little Roxanne” because both her and her sister had the same teachers.
Cortez said that she always wanted to grow up to be just like her sister, and when she set on her path she forged one straight into becoming the Class of 2020 Valedictorian. While in high school she stayed busy with her studies as well as extra-curricular activities such as Yearbook co-editor in chief, RGV LEAD- leadership initiative, National Honor Society, and U.I.L. Journalism events.
She leaves next year’s seniors with a few words: don’t stress out on the small assignments and enjoy all the events, because you can’t take those things for granted.
Salutatorian Giselle De Leon
This year’s Mission High School salutatorian, Giselle De Leon, is the daughter of Jorge and Minerva De Leon. She will be attending the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science, but will continue on to eventually obtain degree in Occupational Therapy.
De Leon has always been interested in the medical field, and she even obtained her CNA certificate while in high school. She plans to look for employment at a doctor’s office or at a nursing home while she attends UTRGV.
One of the things she is looking forward to as she starts her new educational endeavor is the flexible schedule. She would like to thank her MHS Encore directors for showing her that if you want to reach the end goal you have to have the right mind-set, put in the hard work and be prepared.
De Leon has been busy while at school not only with her studies but also with extra-curricular activities such as track, HOSA, Class Officer, National Honor Society – Parliamentarian, UIL One Act Play and Encore Theater.
She leaves next year’s seniors with a few words: try not to overwhelm or stress yourself out. Mental health is important and you need to take time for yourself. Enjoy every moment because you never know what can happen.
Third-Ranking Student Alan Castellanos
The 2020 Mission High School third-ranking student is Alan Castellanos. He is the son of Sergio and Mirella Guerrero. He will be headed out to Austin this fall to attend the University of Texas as both an Impact and Terry Scholar to pursue a degree in Computer Science.
Castellanos’ plan is to not only to obtain his bachelor’s degree in this field, but also his master’s. He is interested in working as a software developer for a high-end company. His plans for the summer include working to save some money for college.
He is looking forward to the different life experiences coming his way, and learning more as he furthers his education. Alan will miss his close-knit family and friends as well as the comforts of home.
Castellanos would like to thank his Robotics coaches for helping him all through high school years and for all the experiences that he would not trade for anything. He has been busy this year with his educational goals and participating in extra-curricular activities such as National Honor Society, Mighty Robo-Rangers, Business Professionals of America, UIL Computer Science and Upward Bound.
Castellanos leaves the VMHS seniors a few words of advice: focus on applying to universities and scholarships as early as possible. Don’t forget to enjoy your senior year.