Sharyland Advanced Academic Academy Salutatorian Sebastian Guajardo Montalvo will be going to his college of choice this fall.
Montalvo will attend the prestigious research university Johns Hopkins University to complete his dream of being a cardiologist.
“During my freshman year of high school, when I started taking health science classes, the cardiovascular system was the subject that stuck to me the most,” Montalvo said. “I enjoyed learning about it the most, there’s been a history of heart issues in my family so it was a subject I wanted to get into to be more informed about it.”
Montalvo said Johns Hopkins University was his first choice of university to attend and was ecstatic when he was accepted.
“Ever since I was a high school freshman I was doing a lot of projects and looking at programs offered at universities and at the end of the day, I knew I wanted to be doing something in the medical field and the more I researched, the more I saw that Johns Hopkins was a great school for that,” Montalvo said. “My desire to go there increased throughout high school and during my junior year, I was fortunate enough to do an overnight visit and fell in love with the school.”
As part of the visit, Montalvo sat in on classes, met students, and toured the campus, solidifying his love for the university.
“It’s exciting but nerve wracking to be accepted,” Montalvo said. “I am excited to take the next step forward to get closer to my goal, but it’s a huge culture clash thatI will no longer be under my parent’s watch or have the structured guidelines I had in high school. It’ll be up to me what happens.”
As a student of Sharyland Advanced Academic Academy, Montalvo participated in several organizations and extracurricular activities such as the chess and swimming teams, student council, the National Honor Society, Health Occupations Students of America and attended night classes at South Texas College.
“It was hard, I had to take care of AP classes and courses and then take college classes that evening,” Montalvo said. “Principal Karr helped me and other students in giving us advice on how to manage our classes, how to take responsibility for coursework and time management because the high school schedule and STC schedule were so different and they helped make a schedule that worked for me. The greatest challenge for me was trying to manage multiple things at once. At one point or another I got overambitious and chewed up more than I can manage so learning to deal with all those different things in a manner that helped me not lose my mind helped me a lot in high school and prepared me for college.”
Montalvo said he has received a grant from Johns Hopkins University to cover most of his tuition and is applying to other scholarships to lessen the financial burden of his education on his parents.
“My parents have been supportive of me and motivated me to do better than what I would’ve been capable of doing by myself,” Montalvo said. “If it weren’t for them I wouldn’t have pushed myself as hard as I did. I wanted to make them proud and now I’m the first in my family to go to college. There are moments where emotions take the best of you and you don’t feel like you’re moving at the pace you should be moving but they’ve done a great job of helping me get my head up and focus on a picture of what can come instead of focusing on the struggles I am having right now.”