Top 10 Spotlight: Itzel Cruz Alcaraz

Parents: Baltazar Cruz and Hilda Cruz

Siblings: Juan Cruz (21)

Previous schools attended: Olmito Elementary (K-1), Rancho Verde Elementary (2-5), Resaca Middle School

College planning to attend: The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

Planned Major: Finance

Post-undergraduate degree plans: Get a job in Finance and try to obtain CPA certification

Teacher influences: Jesus Garza and Ali Martinez
 
Inspiration for Academic Success: There is no specific moment or person in my life that inspired me to do my best in academics. I am really just a perfectionist. I liked how it felt to be in the "A" Honor Roll at school and being anything less did not sit right with me. My parents were never overbearing with school. This gave me independence. I decided that the "A" honor roll was the way to go.
 
Why is it important to you to maintain high academic standards? My parents gave me academic independence from a young age. This made me responsible for keeping my grades up to my standard of 100 percent. While this definitely does not apply to every aspect of my life, having high academic standards just fit into my goals. Apart from this, I prioritized building relationships with my teachers. I wanted to make sure that I proved that I was as capable as they thought I was in class. 

Career plans: I do not really have a specific job in mind once I finish my education. Although I am going to study Finance, I want to look into the possibility of getting certified as a public accountant and look for jobs in that field. I have also looked into the possibility of working as a Forensic Accountant, an Auditor, or a Financial Analyst.

Advice to younger students to succeed academically: Stay true to what you want to get out of your high school experience and be open to change. The level of difficulty changes with each class you take, but it is important to value the lessons you get out of each one, even if you did not enjoy it. Apart from this, really just be yourself. Always put your best foot forward. Understand that failure is bound to happen, so you should take it as a lesson rather than a fault; failures will help you grow more than you think.
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