Parents: Josue and Briana Atkinson
Siblings: Melody (16) and Camila (14)
Previous schools attended: Yturria Elementary (Brownsville ISD), South Hi Mount Elementary (Fort Worth ISD), Palmer-Laakso Elementary, Los Cuates Middle School
College planning to attend: The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
Planned Major: Biomedical Sciences
Post-undergraduate degree plans: Attend medical school
Teacher influences: LFHS teachers Griselda Galvez, Anna Valdez and Juan Longoria
Inspiration for Academic Success: My parents always encouraged me to try hard in school, and since I was in Pre-K I strived to be the best student I could be. My aunts and uncles and grandparents would often ask me if schoolwork came naturally to me, and my response would vary. But school did come easy to me, and I am grateful for a mostly streamlined academic start. I cannot pinpoint the exact moment that I started taking the grades seriously. My mom and dad have different viewpoints. My mom helps me not to overstress, while my dad keeps me from getting lazy. I know I definitely would not be pursuing a medical future without my parents.
Why is it important to you to maintain high academic standards? My parents told me that even a person’s young years influence their future, and now I see their words ringing loud and clear. I had a conversation with my dad recently about the colored bear, smiley face, or even red-green-yellow (sometimes blue) color system that elementary children sometimes experience. I noted how I was terrified of getting the color red because I was misbehaving. More research is needed for that topic, but my dad reasoned and explained how having rules to follow as a child would probably shape good, successful adults. I like to think that those three colors shaped me positively.
Career plans: I would love to be a doctor in medicine after I finish school. I’ve recently decided that one of my favorite things to do in life is not a hobby, but rather the act of making people feel happy and cared for, so if I can achieve that by becoming a doctor, going through 8-12 years of college is more than worth it. I don’t know the specific branch of medicine I would like to take, but my parents always (in the best way possible) pushed me towards medicine if I could see myself helping other people. Thankfully, helping people became one of my passions.
Advice to younger students to succeed academically: I recommend getting enough sleep, making friends, having fun, and focusing on every word teachers say. It may not be profound, but these little steps make a big difference in your daily commute. The same goes for avoiding the opposite of what I described. For instance, do not think it’s cool to be sleep-deprived, do not think it’s cool being an “lone wolf." I do recommend choosing a quiet space to work when you study for a test, though.