Junior Student Spotlight: Jasmine Ponce

Parents: Ofelia and Juan Ponce

Previous schools attended: Stuart Mesa Elementary, (Oceanside, Cal.), Palmer-Laakso Elementary, Laureles Elementary, Liberty Memorial Middle School
Colleges considering: Baylor University or The University of Texas at Austin
Major considering: Nursing Practice
Career considering: Nurse Practitioner (with Doctor of Nursing Practice degree)
Class rank: Top 10 student
School activities: Track 2 years; Cross-country, 3 years, varsity regional qualifier; Soccer 2 years. HOSA 2 years, NHS (National Honor Society), SHH (Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica), Distinguished Scholars, 3 years; Career Scholars (Medical), 3 years.
Inspiration for academic success: My parents have inspired me to succeed ever since I started school as a little girl. I have known that my mom did not have the chance to be what she wanted to be when she was a child, so now she and my dad push me to be better. I want to make my parents proud in everything I do, so I can return the favor later in life. Without my parents, I wouldn't be where I am today. I can't explain my infinite gratitude towards them. They are the reason I push myself to be better than I was yesterday.
What challenges have you faced in your life that you have overcome? A challenge that I have faced in my life is overcoming my fear of speaking up. I have always struggled with speaking up for a presentation, asking a question, or standing up for myself in general. Since elementary school, I have been quite reserved and kept to myself and my small group of friends. However, as I entered high school, I started to see the opportunities that came with speaking up. Better presentation performances, better soft skills, the ability to understand more material, and defending myself in certain situations. My coaches and teachers now tell me that they have seen me grow from a quiet and reserved to well-spoken and open to communication with others. Looking back, I only would have wished that I overcame this obstacle sooner.
Importance of high school athletics:  Cross-country is certainly something that I enjoy doing. Since 7th grade (and even before), I have had a passion for the sport that everyone complains about. I consider it an escape from reality and an opportunity to be refreshed at the end. Finishing a race with absolutely zero energy left is how I know I did my best. I am hoping to receive a scholarship through my efforts and compete at the collegiate level. I’m not expecting it to be a walk in the park. Instead, I am expecting a grueling fast-paced 5k. However, I am confident that I can efficiently balance my academics and athletics.
Balancing school activities and academics: I balance my school activities as well as maintain a strong academic ethic by planning out my activities, whether it be homework and tests or volunteering and practice. I feel that having a schedule to base my routine off of creates a sense of security that helps me thrive with my school activities and academics. I give my best effort to each category and hope for the best. If there is a meeting for NHS or SHH as well as practice, I make time for each. Overall, I believe I maintain a balance between the two because I value everything that I put my effort into. It's the drive to be better that motivates me.
Possible careers: The career path I have chosen is the medical field. More specifically, the career I am considering is a Nurse Practitioner with a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. I am considering being an NP because of my desire to help others out in their time of need. Helping other people and giving them another chance at life is a gift in itself. To be able to give that gift is phenomenal and one of the many reasons, besides a natural interest, in why I chose to enter the medical field and pursue a career there too. I hope to be the reason someone gets another chance at life or lives another day without pain.
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