Parents: Noelia Rodriguez and Felipe Zamora
Previous Schools Attended: Palmer-Laakso Elementary (PreK-1), Lopez-Riggins Elementary (2-5), Liberty Memorial Middle School
College Planning to Attend: Yale University
Planned Major: Political Science
Post-Undergraduate Plans: Master's degree
Teachers' Motivation: Martin Fell, Avery Danielson, Veronica Gaytan
Inspiration for Academic Success: I can’t really pinpoint a specific moment when I became inspired to do my best academically. However, the reason why I love learning so much is that my mom dedicated so much time to teaching me from a young age. If she had not given me such an incredible head start I wouldn’t be where I am today. Even when school work became too complicated and time-consuming for my parents to guide me through, they were both there to provide moral support. They’ve definitely wiped a few tears caused by seemingly endless homework assignments.
Importance of High Academic Standards: Neither of my parents had the opportunity to attend a formal college or university. They have worked incredibly hard to get me where I am today and I do everything with thoughts of them in the back of my mind. My mom and dad were the only reason why I did not give up completely whenever school felt like it was consuming me. They were my motivation to pay attention in class and ask questions when I had no clue what was going on. Whenever I didn’t do as well as I had hoped on an assignment, I felt like I had failed them more than I had failed myself. Thankfully, my mom helped me grow past that pressure and made me realize that I had to start doing things because they made me proud.
Career Plans: I’m honestly still not entirely sure what I want to do when I’m finished with college. My dream life would honestly consist of me being an award-winning actress who may more may not win Best Actress at the 100th Annual Academy Awards. After all, Meryl Streep and Angela Bassett both attended Yale. More realistically, I’d love to take on a job that requires me to move overseas. Investigative journalism or working at an embassy would be incredible, and it would provide me with the opportunity to experience different cultures and meet new and interesting people.
Advice to younger students to succeed academically: If I can give any advice to students in middle school, it would be to have fun and not take life too seriously. I know school can suck the joy out of life at times but try to focus on the good memories, even if they are few and far between. Putting an unnecessary amount of stress on yourself will only make completing the school day more difficult. Failing a test may feel like the end of the world and can make you question whether or not your dreams are too big. I promise they aren’t. You just have to learn to say “Oh well,” and move on to the next obstacle.