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Los Laureados Award Recipients Share Their Inspirations

RECIPIENTS: ARELI ARELLANO, ANA CARO, ALLEN CHEN, XIOMARA DIAZ, XENNA GALLEGOS, FELICE GONZALES, ANHAYTE GUAJARDO, ALEXIS HERNANDEZ, SARA HERNANDEZ, KENNY HUYNH, LOURDES ILLINGWORTH, AYA JISHI, KEVIN KONG, DEBORAH LEE, CAROLINE REN, RENATA RODRIGUEZ, SADIE RUBALCAVA, BRIANNA SANDOVAL, KRISTIE SHAM, DILENE SOTO, IMELDA SOLIS, CAITLIN
TAFOLLA-AGUIRRE, KIYOMI TAKEMOTO, SYDNEY TEA, ANNIE TRAN
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MOOR photo by AAQIL KHAN

I always felt like I needed to work harder being a woman of color, since there is often a stigma that comes with being Latina. Both of my parents made me realize that I was more than a statistic and that my accomplishments were important. They taught me that when others comment, “Wow you’re pretty smart for a Latina girl.” that I should respond with, “No, I am just smart.” My parents’ hard work and love truly inspired me to do my best with whatever I was doing. A couple of teachers have really pushed me along the way during my short four years at AHS as well. Their classes have helped me in numerous ways by allowing me to find my voice and define a clear path for my future.
-Areli Arellano

Inspiration usually comes from positivity, but it can also arise from hardship and turmoil. Throughout my time at AHS, positive relationships with my teachers [have] facilitated my growth as a student and a person. Whenever a teacher’s attitude, knowledge and passion permeated throughout the classroom, I was instantly motivated to reciprocate. An ideal education fosters insight and fulfillment, but that’s not always the case. I’ve also dealt with classroom environments that I’ve despised. The feeling of fear or frustration brought on by certain teachers inspired me to prove them wrong. Sometimes we won’t be positively inspired by our teachers, and we’ll leave a class unfulfilled and resentful. But if we’re successful at transforming negativity into inspiration, I think that’s the most fulfilling form of inspiration.
-Allen Chen

I was inspired by the fact that high school gave me the opportunity to be a role model. I always wanted to try to be someone that people could look up to and that’s probably the reason I became involved in the extracurriculars I am in today. We all want our own protege, someone to follow in our footsteps, and the fact that there could be people that look up to me was what inspired me throughout high school.
-Kenny Huynh

High school has been a busy, but rewarding adventure. What inspired me the most through these four years was my desire to actually do and experience things in my life; I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t waste my time, even at a young age when one thinks there’s so much of it. As a result, I’ve taken par in various things, from musicals to student government. To be involved in such activities is a privilege, as is the opportunity to have the education I have now. So far I’ve kept my promise, spending long hours working hard on my dedications to the school.
-Lourdes Illingworth

Throughout the course of my high school years, I have encountered challenges that tested my abilities both personally and academically. In high school, I have met excellent people who [are] so talented and inspiring. Each unique individual has their own challenges; seeing that they too had their own obstacles and some far more difficult than mine, I used their willingness to fight and prosper. My friends, teachers, coaches and parents have all shown qualities that are extremely admirable and I used the strength of their eagerness to triumph.
-Renata Rodriguez

There are many different people who have inspired me throughout my four years of experience at [AHS]. My parents placed the biggest impact on my education; I [am] who I [am] today through their love and encouragement. They would always push me to strive and perform to the best of my ability in everything I participated in, from ASB and Council to the varsity volleyball and basketball teams. My younger sister also inspired me to be a role model in not only academics but also leadership in extracurricular activities. Lastly, I thank my teachers and friends for always providing me with a challenge or believing in me through rough times to mold me into the person I have become today.
-Kiyomi Takemoto

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