As hard as high school is for some, and as tempting as it may be to fly under the radar for those four years to get through the experience as unscathed as possible, there are those select students every year who manage to stand out from the rest.
One such student who has proven herself to be remarkable, despite suffering an extreme hardship, is senior Adriana Villegas. Adriana’s father succumbed after three years of battling Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).
Despite suffering the loss of her father, she still possessed the drive she’s always had to do better and to succeed. Through this experience she has, in her own words, found herself.
“Even though I suffered a major loss this year, I never lost my determination to work for good grades,” she said.
Adriana is described as determined, not just by herself but also by her friends and her teachers. She, in fact, thinks her determination is one of the things that makes her unique.
“Adriana is a quiet force,” said English teacher Juliana Ahonen. “There is nothing that will stop her from achieving her goals.”
She usually remains silent within the classroom. If, and when, she does choose to speak, it impacts the people around her in a significant way. She’s able to make people think about what she says, which is an impressive quality to possess at such a relatively young age.
“Although her life was turned upside down, she managed to keep her spirit and her high GPA,” said her mom, Alicia Villegas, and her brother, Alberto Villegas. “Having a role in the school’s extracurricular activities has always been a high expectation for her.”
Adriana played the clarinet for the Silver Knights band. Joining band has impacted her life in such a huge and positive way.
“Adriana is special because of her enthusiasm for pretty much everything,” said senior Cristina Luna. “A day doesn’t go by without a smile on her face.”
Adriana is motivated by the ideal that things can always be better - her grades, her life, her future, all can always be improved upon and worked on further.
She plans to attend UTEP after high school to study business administration in financial analyst as she aspires to become a financial adviser.