Friday, December 20, 2013

Being Thankful

With a passion for helping and supporting others, senior Rolando loves to entertain people and play sports. Every Sunday he enjoys a family outing to a restaurant of their choice following mass at San Jose Catholic Church. Rolando belongs to Respeto, a program at San Jose Catholic Church for Mexican American teenagers who are already demonstrating leadership potential in their school, neighborhoods, and church youth groups. This program is very demanding and requires a certain level of maturity, openness, and a one year commitment.

Rolando’s family decided to send him to San Juan Diego Catholic High School (SJDCHS) because of the dedication exemplified by teachers and staff. “I liked the small community feeling of SJDCHS. I was able to meet everyone my first day which also allowed me to create closer relationships with people.” During this interview, Rolando expressed to me how grateful he was for his parents’ sacrifices and told me about his ambitions later on in life. “Originally I wanted to be a pediatrician. After some thought, I decided to become a pediatric nurse or any type of nurse really, just as long as I’m helping people.” To make his dream a reality, Rolando has already applied to colleges such as University of the Incarnate Word, The University of Texas at Arlington, Texas State, and Texas A&M Corpus Christi; he has been accepted into all four.

Rolando is also thankful for the dedication the teachers have shown during his time at SJDCHS. He attributes his getting accepted into colleges to college counselor Alison Liu, who helps students not only apply to college, but also apply for scholarships. Rolando credits Mr. Bongard who has given him great advice over the years and thanks Mr. Reynolds, former dean of discipline, who always asked how he was doing outside of school.

“After getting my BSN degree, I would like to get my masters at The University of Texas at Austin and travel. Ultimately, I want to come back to Austin to start a family and build a house for my parents. My father is a huge inspiration to me and my mother is always there when I get home; she’s always helping with homework and supporting her children like a mother should. I feel like she does too much sometimes so I would love to give back the support she’s shown me.”

Friday, December 13, 2013

Ambition Is Contagious

Born in Austin, with a love of playing for the SJD varsity soccer team and DJ-ing, senior Alex is well on his way to making his dream of being an entrepreneur come true. Before coming to San Juan Diego Catholic High School (SJDCHS), Alex graduated from Fulmore Middle School and had attended a charter school his ninth grade year. “I had no freedom there,” Alex says of the previous charter school he attended, “That’s when I found out about the CIP program at SJDCHS. After speaking with my parents they agreed, SJDCHS would be a better fit.”

Upon being accepted into SJDCHS, Alex was placed at Dell and was part of the marketing department. “I scored really well on the typing test Dell gave me, so they decided to put me in charge of selling and editing guides. I was also in charge of transferring them onto the websites for France and Portugal.” Alex attributes the success of his own DJ business to the work experience that he has gained in the marketing department at Dell. Alex has DJed at many of SJDCHS’s dances as well as other events for his family and friends. “I was always into music. I would save up to buy my own equipment and when my parents saw that I was serious about DJing, that’s when they started helping me achieve my dream.”

To realize his dream of one day owning his own business, Alex has applied to The University of Texas at San Antonio and Texas A&M Corpus Christi, where he hopes to study business and eventually get a master's degree. “I want to be my own boss someday; I want to grow my business so that I eventually have employees to run a full scale entertainment company. I’d also like to start recording.”

Alex is very thankful for his time here at SJDCHS and thanks teachers such as Mr. Bongard for motivating him to join the soccer team, and Mr. Speer for motivating him to push himself in school. Alex is a very ambitious young man and has big aspirations for making a name for himself with his career.  

Friday, December 6, 2013

All From A Teacher's Inspiration

This week’s student blog features senior Dorris, who is the eldest in her family and will be the first in her family to attend college. Dorris grew up with her mother, grandparents, and little brother. She has been at San Juan Diego Catholic High School (SJDCHS) since her freshman year. After being accepted into various charter schools in Austin, Dorris ultimately decided that SJDCHS was the best choice for her. “It was a big change, from going to a school with so many students to a small community. I was nervous my first day because I didn’t know anyone, but people quickly showed me they cared and there was just the sense of family once everyone got to know each other,” Dorris says of her first year at SJDCHS.

Dorris’ decision to come to SJDCHS was based on the Corporate Internship Program (CIP). During her time in the program, she has worked at Texas PTA, Dell Children’s Medical Center, and University Medical Center Brackenridge in the HIM (health information management) department. “Working in the Corporate Internship Program has taught me to be more social and helped me with my communication skills. In turn I’ve been able to make public speeches which will help me in my career.”

Before Dorris’ came to SJDCHS her mother didn’t understand why she wanted to go to a Catholic School. However, she began to see her daughter grow at SJDCHS which also caused a big change in her family. Her entire family began going to mass and started to grow more in their Catholic faith. “I believe I led my family to grow more in their faith which in turn helped us become closer as a family.”

Dorris has already been accepted to Sam Houston State University and plans to pursue a degree in criminal justice to become an investigative detective. She attributes her decision to study criminal justice to Mr. Speer, a math teacher at SJDCHS. “I was always naturally good at math. Mr. Speer taught me that there was a lot behind math that most people couldn’t see. He explained to me that math is putting a bunch of variables together, finding the solution and thinking rationally, which is what a detective does.” Dorris has much gratitude for Mr. Speer for pushing her towards her major in college because she now has developed a passion for it. Dorris is also awaiting reply from St. Edward’s University and wants to ultimately work for the CIA or FBI.