“Dani” Keely Austin of J.J. Pearce High School in Dallas has learned how to become a leader by serving as National Charity League President and National Honor Society president.
She is also involved in many school activities such as Varsity Cross Country, Varsity Track, Senior Senate, Student Council and many others. She also was able to appreciate different cultures by taking a trip to Spain as an Ambassador of Learning Programs International. She plans to major in education and would love to help children reach their future goals like she is striving to do.
Terran Dixon of Longview High School is a member of JROTC. “As a dance teacher and commander of an unarmed drill team, I have had to act as a leader,” says Dixon. He is also a member of Student Government and the theater arts club. At his church he is on the usher board, a member of choir for teens and he teaches praise dance.
He hopes to attend Duke University and study dance. Then he would like to open his own dance school targeting African American men. He says his long-term goal is to “keep our youth off the streets and in school.”
Jordan Fleming of Graham High School says she stands out from the crowd because of the strength and determination she possesses and the ability to stand up for what she believes in. She was home-schooled through eighth grade, which she feels prepared her mentally, academically and socially for the challenges of high school. She is involved in many activities and organizations at her school.
One of her proudest achievements was leading a campaign to put smoke alarms in rural homes after finding out that the area had a higher death toll from people dying from smoke inhalation than in other parts of the country. The program called “Sound the Alarm” was a great success. She plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in English with a secondary degree in education. She hopes to teach Advanced Placement English in a high school and then eventually move on to lecture at colleges and finally universities throughout the nation.
“Many of the activities that make me stand out are in FFA,” says Mikaela May of Crowley High School. She raises lambs, is the FFA Chapter secretary and the FFA district reporter. She won Grand Reserve Champion at the San Antonio Livestock Exposition and won a $10,000 college scholarship for her Agri-Science Research Project and has many other awards and accomplishments.
She plans to continue competing on the Floriculture Team, take all floral related classes offered by her high school and major in horticulture/floriculture in college. Her plans after college are to own her own floral shop and create floral arrangements for high-end weddings.
Mathew Mendoza, a senior at St. Thomas High School in Houston, has a passion for a career in law. He has competed in many essay contests related to law. Several students have questioned in the past why he takes on the extra challenge of participating in these essay contests and he says, “for me, writing reports and essays is quite interesting, because I have the opportunity to learn more about any particular subject, with the law and history being his favorites.”
He plans to pursue a career in law and/or history after college. “I hope to become an asset to my local community and state by providing skilled legal counsel as mandated in the United States Constitution,” Mendoza says.
Alexis Nguyen of Cypress Ridge High School in Houston is a very dedicated student. She has all As and takes many AP courses and a very rigorous class schedule. She plays the violin and has been in orchestra for six years. She is now in Chamber Orchestra and Concert Mistress, which is the first chair. She is involved in Student Council and is currently the treasurer. She is in a number of other school organizations including being president of Science Olympiad. She plans to major in finance and then attend law school.
After law school, she will either go to work or go back to school to get her Master’s in Business Administration. “I plan on being successful in my career (because anything less wouldn’t be good enough for me) so I can be a philanthropist when I grow up,” Nguyen says.
Oscar Ortiz of Orange Grove High School has many interests and is involved in various activities. He’s in the National Honor Society, an officer for Mu Alpha Theta and participates in many sports at his school, including Varsity Football, Baseball, Power Lifting and Track. He’s also a member of the Spanish Club and FFA. One of his best qualities is perseverance. In the summer of 2008 he suffered a severe spinal cord injury. At the time many people thought he would have to give up his football and power lifting dreams. Through months of rigorous activity he was able to regain his strength and come back this year stronger than ever.
He plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in athletic training and then a job with a school or college that allows him to practice his profession.
“My summers and many of my weekends during the school year are taken up by volunteering,” says Brooke Ostrom of Ingleside High School. She says it gives her a lot of satisfaction as she is helping people learn new skills, such as retail and customer service. She has been president of Youth that Care for the past three years. This is an environmental group that focuses on city beautification and educating the people about environmental issues. She has become more outgoing since attending the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership camp in 2009.
Last year she even applied to be a youth counselor and had a positive impact on many of the students who attended. Her goal is to receive an appointment to the United States Naval Academy, and she has applied for a Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) scholarship as a back up plan. She is currently ranked No. 1 in her class and since she’s also involved in many other activities at her school she should be on her way to achieving her goals.
Laura Lisa Salinas of Quest College Preparatory in McAllen is a real go getter. She takes a very rigorous academic course load and has already earned nine college credits with additional credits coming this spring. She plans to graduate with the Distinguished Achievement graduation plan, which is the highest in Texas. Her classmates have elected her most likely to succeed three years in a row. She is editor in chief for the yearbook and is president of the junior class.
She says, "I believe I am responsible, goal driven, resourceful and helpful. She also says one of her goals in life is to be happy because everything tends to fall into place when one is generally happy.” She plans to major in biomedical engineering in college and then return to her community as a pediatric surgeon to serve those less fortunate.