Graduate of Nogales High School. Current student at Stanford University
Neither of my grandparents ever had the chance to go to school. They were both born and raised in Mexico and didn’t finish elementary school. They instilled in my mother, who instilled in me, the importance of a good education.
At first I was really nervous about going to Stanford, because the majority of students come from private schools where they’re really prepared and where they’ve had private tutoring their whole life. However, once I got there, I realized that I was actually a lot more prepared than I thought. I’ve always known that I’m capable and I did really well in Nogales, but I didn’t know if that was going to translate well to such an elite institution. Then I started college and I realized how amazing my teachers were and how amazing the opportunities I had were.
For example, Nogales High School requires all seniors to do a senior capstone project where you research a topic you’re really passionate about, write a paper and then present it to the entire community. At first a lot of students here were really hesitant, but I think it really prepared me for the projects I’ve had to do in college.
I was also really surprised by how many people I’ve met that don’t speak a second language or have never been out of the country. Those are the experiences students in Nogales have all the time here. It made me realize how lucky we are: Nogales prepares its students for their future academically and beyond.