Top 10 Spotlight: Daniela Martinez Banda

Parents: Brenda A. Martinez and Victor C. Martinez
Siblings: Isabela (17), Victor (12) and Erick (10)
Previous schools attended: Jesus M. Montemayor (1-4) and Hanneman schools – Monterrey, N.L., Mexico (5-6), Hodges Bend Middle School – Fort Bend ISD (7) and Resaca Middle School (8)

College planning to attend: Texas A&M University

Planned Major: Aerospace Engineering

Post-undergraduate degree plans: Start working right away or pursue a master’s degree in computer science

Teacher influences: Javier Martinez Garza, Gil Gómez, and Hector Penaflor
Inspiration for Academic Success:  I do not remember a specific moment in my life where I started to worry about academics. Both of my parents have always emphasized the importance of doing well academically and always trying my best in whatever I was passionate about, so I have always tried my best. For the person who inspired me the most, I would probably have to say my twin sister. Most people always ask us if we compete with each other a lot, but I actually think we motivate each other. We never look at who is better at something; we always look at what we can both do to improve. I have always had my sister there to rely on whenever I am going to try something new or if I’m out of my comfort zone and I have always been grateful for it.

Why is it important to you to maintain high academic standards?
I am a very goal-oriented person, so maintaining high academic standards for myself always helped me stay focused on the things I want to improve on. The main reason why I was able to be successful in high school is because I have always pushed myself into learning new things. Trying new things is the first step into growing. You can’t grow unless you put higher expectations on yourself even if it is just one small new thing, because once you achieved it, you realized of all the things you are capable of doing.

Career plans: After I finish college I would like to become a Systems Analyst in engineering or a programmer. I would be happy with either one. At the beginning of high school, I did not know what type of engineering field I wanted to pursue but after a project where we had to interview an engineer, I decided this is what I wanted to study. During that project, I had the pleasure to interview my dad and he taught me everything that he did in his job. One of the things I loved about his job was that he did not just design a program, he helped everyone in his company understand it and used use it. I’ve always loved helping others and I think I will be able to do it my own way by becoming a systems engineer.

Advice to younger students to succeed academically: I would advise younger students to enjoy your high school experience by trying many new things. This is the time to make mistakes, the time to grow, and the time to find the things you want to pursue later – either in a college or career or going straight to work. Sometimes talking about what you are going to do for the rest of your life might sound scary, I know at least for me it was, but the best advice I can give you is to worry about it once you get there. What helped me a lot to stay focused on my grades was setting small goals for myself, and always looking at what was next and not what was way ahead of me.
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