RNY Billboard Showcase 2018

  • Each year Yuma Union High School District selects 12 students to represent Ready Now Yuma on billboards throughout Yuma County. The 12 students (one male and one female from each of the district's six high schools) are all seniors, who will graduate as part of the Class of 2018. They imbue the overall goals of Ready Now Yuma, which strives to prepare EVERY student in YUHSD for career, college, and the community during the high school years. Below are personal essays each student shared as part of the selection process: 

Agustin -- San Luis High School

  • Agustin Graduation is a few weeks ahead, marking the end of a journey and the start of a new beginning. High school has proved to be a pivotal factor in life. It is throughout your high school experience in which you uncover the true strength and value of your character. The learning of lessons based on personal situations, the building of true friendships and strong relationships with teachers, peers, mentors, staff, friends and family. The decisions you make in high school will follow you your entire life. High school is the foundation for future success. What you do in high school, and how you do it, will ultimately determine your future pathway.

     "High school is the foundation for future success. What you do in high school, and how you do it, will ultimately determine your future pathway."

    Following graduation, I plan on studying Biomedical Engineering at Arizona State University, in an effort to fulfill my passions for medicine, serving my community, and being a positive influence in the lives of many. This plan has been a direct result of my perseverance to move forward in life, and the support of those around me.  My academic success is a tribute to those who have always believed in me, and have found ways to shape up my character, especially my mother, being a field worker, yet making time to raise her children properly. Not being paid the best salary, but finding a way to make sure there is always food on the table and her children aren’t missing anything they need. She has worked hard, day in and day out, to make sure her kids prosper, and now it’s my turn to return the favor. Everything I do, I do it because of her, to make her proud of the child she has raised. One day I hope I can repay all the trouble I have put her through by making her the mother of a successful child.

    I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has encouraged me to become the best version of myself. To my teachers, friends, and family, thank you for your unconditional love and support. To the community of San Luis, thank you for raising me into the person I have now become.

Aleaya -- Vista Alternative High School

  • Aleaya Who would”ve thought four years could go by so fast? Graduation is only a few weeks away, and I have never been more ready for an event like this. My family, teachers, and son are to thank for they have given me the motivation and determination to succeed. I have the biggest support system, given my situation and I’m glad they are there for me.

    Freshman year of high school I didn’t care about anything really. I just wanted to have lots of friends, and have that “high school sweetheart.” I joined cheerleading and dance, but also made bad decisions as the year went on. Then, sophomore year came and it was just a repeat of freshman year, except I quit cheerleading.

    My summer of sophomore year I found out I was two months pregnant. I was so scared and didn’t know what to do; only that I needed to finish school because now I had someone depending on me for the rest of my life. In my junior year I tried going to school, but I had a very bad experience, so I dropped out. Then I realized I cannot do that to my baby or myself, so my senior year I went back to school.

    I have never met such a supportive, helpful, and determined group of staff and teachers. They helped me turn my grades from C’s and D’s into straight A’s and B’s. They’ve worked with me so much to get my credits so I can graduate on time. I am so thankful for them, and forever will be.

    I am now in my senior year of high school and I have straight A’s. I am President of Student Council, I have a job, and my handsome 1-and-a-half-year-old son. I am achieving much more than I ever anticipated. I plan on going to college, and becoming a Trauma RN by attending Northern Arizona University. I have not been perfect by any means, and I haven’t always made the best choices, but with the help I have, I now feel that once I put my mind to something I can achieve anything.

Dallas -- Yuma High School

  • Dallas Being in high school the last four years truly has taught me a lot about myself and what I should pursue for a career. Teachers and family members have been a big factor in guiding me for what I should be doing after high school and I couldn’t be more thankful for them in their support.

    Since my freshman year, I’ve always been unsure of what I wanted to do after high school, but since the beginning of my junior year I have considered going straight into the United States Air Force. After I put thought and long discussions with my family, I have recently decided to hold off on going into the Air Force and instead pursuing my bachelor's degree and entering as an officer rather than being enlisted.

    My father has done a fantastic job of supporting me throughout high school and what I want to do after graduation, taking leaps and bounds and making sure he’ll do whatever it takes to get me to where I want to pursuit. My father has been a wonderful influence on me throughout high school, making sure that I get my work done and always try my best  My choir teacher Laura Surguine has been a great influence on me to try my best and to make sure I do what i love in life. While playing piano for her and the school choir, she has encouraged me to overcome my fears of being in front of large crowds. She is very ambitious and responsible with what she does and it has inspired me in pursuit of music as a career later on in life. What has motivated me throughout high school was the thought of trying my best in order to get a career that will be able to support me in the future.

Edgar -- Cibola High School

  • Edgar As high school comes to a close, so does an informative chapter in my life. My years at Cibola High School will be unforgettable. They are filled with exciting moments and learning opportunities. The teachers prepared my class well for college by devoting themselves to improving our lives through education. Luckily, the teachers I have had always ensured that the class understood the material. Especially with the new Cambridge curriculum, teachers taught not only the information we needed to know, but how we can apply this to our lives.

    The teachers accomplished one part and the counselors did the other. Cibola High School guidance department assured that every single student was taking classes to: 1) meet graduation requirements and post-high school plans, 2) meet the interests of the student, and 3) satisfy the rigor the student needs to be successful. My counselor, Teresa Davis, is one of the best advisors I have ever met. Mrs. Davis advised me, mainly throughout my senior year as I was in the middle of the interview process for the Flinn Scholarship and completing my degrees at Arizona Western College. Mrs. Davis and the rest of the department’s collective effort made me feel well-prepared and advised in every academic decision I made.

    "The hardships my parents experienced as they were starting their lives together motivates me to continue exceeding in school."

    Upon graduation, I will continue my education at the University of Arizona Honors College in Tucson. I will be double-majoring in Biochemistry with a minor in Physiology and Political Science with a minor in Spanish. Graduating with two Associate Degrees in General Arts and Political Science from Arizona Western College has given me the liberty to pursue two concentrations, but this would have been impossible without the preparation of Cibola High School. I accumulated a great amount of college credits from Advanced Placement testing at Cibola and in return, I will have enough time at the University of Arizona to learn more about the subjects that interest me.

    Throughout my high school experience, my family remains as my top motivator and the positive influence to keep striving. My family has shown their unconditional support in the things I choose to pursue. The hardships my parents experienced as they were starting their lives together motivates me to continue exceeding in school. They have always instilled the value of education in our household. I am blessed to say that with what I learned at Cibola High School and my family as my support system, I am ready for a new chapter of life at college.

Emma -- Cibola High School

  • Emma In the fall, I will be attending Northern Arizona University with a full-ride scholarship. Majoring in Computer Science, I will also be attending the Honors College to help further my education even more and to make sure I graduate at the top of my class. Throughout college, I intend to be an intern at companies that may help me someday reach my career goal. I hope to one day be a Software Engineer and work for influential companies like Google or Apple to help further the advancement of technology around the world. Knowing that a field like this is not popular with women, I am prepared to prove that it is a field for everyone.

    The summer of my junior year of high school, I was one of the three people hand picked from my school to attend Arizona Girls State. Attending Arizona Girls State, was truly an experience I will never forget. To be completely surrounded by girls with the same drive and aspiration I have to complete their own goals was a blessing I didn’t know I needed. Along with other students like me, my family has also been a huge influence in preparing me for college. They are the most supportive people in the entire world and they stuck with me through the entire college choosing process, making sure to remind me to choose what I think the right choice for me would be.

    Throughout high school, I have had teachers who have greatly prepared me for college. I have been pushed to always perform to my fullest potential while also being reminded that I have the potential to do whatever it is I want to do. I do have to thank Cibola High School for the best four years I could have ever asked for. I’m certain I will make Cibola proud not only at NAU, but wherever I may go for the rest of my life.

Isaiah -- Vista Alternative High School

  • Isaiah I have a big, loving family that consist of my parents, one older brother who is 19, a sister who is 16, and six younger siblings ages 5-10. I attended Yuma High School for three years and moved to Vista Alternative High School for my senior year. I have had a long bumpy road these past four years, but have succeeded and will be the first graduate in my family.

    Freshman year at Yuma High was a challenge. I didn’t care about anything, but making friends and being cool. I always played sports, so I continued to join football and wrestling. During my freshman year I made the varsity wrestling team. My grades were not good and I had no interest in education much less a career. Sophomore year I made varsity for football and wrestling. I placed third in state for wrestling,  and made the All-Region team for football. I became more and more known though sports, but my grades were still at D’s and F’s, and since that wasn’t my priority, my attendance soon became an issue as well.

    By the time I was a junior, I made football my priority placing first in state for tackles and was elected MVP for the team. I soon started to think I would make this my career. At the same time I realized I only had two years of high school left, I had to start prioritizing better. I went out got a job, started to focus on my grades, and continued playing football. I struggled with my grades being that I never payed attention in class. For the first two years of high school I had messed around in class, ditched, didn’t do my work, and hung out with the wrong crowd.

    Senior year I wanted to totally focus on grades and football.  Football kept me going in school, yet I knew I had to do something about my grades and attendance. I then decided to come to Vista Alternative High School. I focused on my grades and gradually brought them up to A’s and B’s, I even received an award for perfect attendance. I missed hanging out with the crowd, but knew this was the right path to take. I continued to play football for Yuma High until I got injured and missed three of the last five games. Knowing I was injured I decided to play our last two games for the season. It was towards the end of our last game when I hopped on one leg off the field, I shook it off and continued to play. Even though we didn’t win I can say I gave it my all.

    I then went in for surgery. A surgery that was scheduled to last three and a half hours and lapsed to eight hours. I had complete reconstruction of my knee and everything around it. I went into surgery and came out thinking this was the end of my career. I was out of school for two weeks and went back on crutches. I had to go through six weeks of therapy and a long recovery. I didn’t want to continue going to school. My family pushed me though therapy and I decided to stay in school taking it a day at a time.

    I am proud to say that I have achieved my goals. My grades are A’s and B’s, I have all my credits, I’m ready to graduate, and I am looking into furthering my career in law enforcement. Thanks to Vista Alternative High School for accepting me this year, which took a big part in helping achieve where I am at today.

     

Jayna -- Yuma High School

  • Jayna Estee Lauder once said, “I never dreamt of success. I worked for it.” This quote, I can honestly say, I lived by throughout my high school years. Growing up in a small community has given me the motivation to succeed. In this town, everybody knows everybody and every step you take becomes noticed. This has also pushed me to work harder in becoming successful. One of my biggest accomplishments I am very proud of is my Perfect Attendance. Since Kindergarten in 2005, I have not missed a day of school. Although there would be days where I would be so tired from the night before from sports or school activities, I still told myself, “Get up, gotta get this day going!”

    My biggest motivation to be successful in academics was sports. My family has always pushed both me and my younger sister in sports, mainly basketball. I started playing when I was 5 years old and the love I have for it pushed me to compete year after year. From local leagues, city leagues, traveling teams, I loved every minute of it. Being a part of a team taught me determination, ambition and most importantly discipline. Not only do you have to push yourself to be your absolute best, you must also have to maintain a high grade point average. Once your grades would drop, you would be put on academic probation and that is something I never wanted to be a part of. Balancing both physical and mental strain was the hardest part but I never gave up, I never wanted to fail.

    "I know that these next years in school will be a long journey, and I am very excited to start."

    The summer before senior year my family would ask me if I was ready for my last year of high school and if I was going to miss it. They would share their stories of their senior year and if they could go back in time, they would, just to relive some of their favorite memories.  My aunt would always ask me what I would be doing after I graduate or if I have looked into different colleges or universities. She would always ask if I was prepared for life after high school and little did she know I had already been working on it. After years of staying up late preparing for tests, long hours of studying and organizing my week-to-week schedules balancing both sports and academics all four years, I was ready. I am more than ready for the next step after high school.

    Once I graduate from Yuma High, I will be staying local at Arizona Western College for two years then I will transfer out to Arizona State University to study Pre-Med. Ultimately, I want to become a doctor and come back to serve my Quechan Tribal community along with the neighboring Cocopah Tribe. I know that these next years in school will be a long journey, and I am very excited to start.

    Many successful people are often asked the general question, “Who motivated you to be where you are today?” and a lot of the time the answer would be a person, loved one, or family member. But have you ever thought that the person who really motivates you would be yourself? It may sound cliché to say, but I am my own motivation. Growing up, you realize that you are the only one responsible for your life. The choices you make will either make or break your future so you have to always be conscious of your decisions. You are in the driver seat of your own journey, and although there will be bumpy roads, high mountains, and unpredictable weather, you can reach your destination if you really set your mind to it. I hope in five, ten, maybe even twenty years, I can reflect back to this moment and remember that after all these years, and after all the trials and tribulations, I made it.

Magdalena -- San Luis High School

  • Magdalena As being part of the class of 2018, we are just a few weeks away from graduation. The time is coming to where a chapter will end, but a new one will begin. These past four years in high school have been an incredible and an essential part of my entire life. This has been because I have made many important decisions in high school and have learned many new valuable things from great people. It is through this high school experience, in which I was motivated in various ways by different people, that I have become ready to pursue my career goals.

    Now that I can fully consider all the memories created in my high school years, I can honestly say that the people (teachers/staff, peers, friends, and family) I had along the way are one of the real reasons I have become prepared for my life after high school. I have met outstanding individuals in all my four years that have marked my life in many ways. Their personal anecdotes that always made me reflect, their different ways to approach a problem/question, their unique ways of teaching or learning , their generosity and kindness to care just enough for my life have all served as motivation to keep on going and a means to prepare me for the real world after high school.

    It was through those internal and external struggles I had throughout high school that those hardships became positive influences in assisting me complete high school feeling prepared for college. It was in my freshman year that I had to stay up late in order to learn how to study on my own in my own way. It was in my sophomore year where I was assigned a ton of homework from my AP classes which served to set my expectations of the type of homework I will have in college. It was in my junior year that I had to learn how to manage my time in a very busy schedule in and outside of high school. It was in my senior year I learned to carefully take major life decisions and get ready to finish strong and start stronger in college.

    As a senior in high school about to walk the line at graduation, I have decided to study biological sciences (biomedical sciences) at Arizona State University in hopes of continuing on into medical school. Besides having my passion in medicine, I have also found my passion to be in education where I hope to become a teacher at some point in my life also. With all this in mind, I dream and desire to travel the world providing free/inexpensive medical services and mathematical education to those in need. I cannot finish this without admitting that everything I have accomplished and the person that I am and will still become is all thanks to God. All the glory is to God for He has been and will be with me wherever I go.

Michael -- Kofa High School

  • Michael There are many things I did to get myself involved with my school in order to pass time, but through these events or activities many of them have taught me important characteristics of becoming an adult and maturing. Also the growing relationships with many great teachers on this campus have taught me many important life skills and have gotten me ready to continue the next chapter of my life.

    The next step for me in my education career is attending Chadron State College in Nebraska to compete in Cross Country as well as studying biology in order to eventually become a physical therapist. Through my high school experience, there is one thing that has been a major influence and motivation for me which has been the sport of running. It has taught persistence, dedication, hard work, integrity, and how to be a responsible leader, running has shaped me into who I am today and I wouldn’t be where without it.

    A big positive influence on me throughout my high school years have definitely been my Cross Country and track coaches. They’re always there for whatever I need whether I’m having school, running or even personal issues they make sure I have what I need in order to be successful not only in running but things in my everyday life. My coaches keep me, as well as all my teammates, accountable for our actions teaching us responsibility and integrity. I couldn’t have asked for a better group of coaches. I feel comfortable to go to them for anything I need and I know they’ll help me the best they can. They are a big reason I dedicate myself to my education and athletics. I know they are very important and I know with a lot of hard work it’ll all pay off one day.

Rebeca -- Kofa High School

  • Rebeca By far the biggest motivation throughout my four years in high school has been my parents. Unfortunately, neither of them finished high school because where I come from it is not required in order to have a technical career. It isn’t exactly a bad thing, but my parents are always telling me that I have to be a lot better than them; I strive to make them proud. Another motivation for me is the privilege I have of being in a different country. Not everyone has the same chance, not everyone can go to school and graduate. Transitioning from one place to another is difficult, especially when you don't speak the language, the culture and are unfamiliar with the school program. It's been a big struggle to adapt but that has also motivated me to show myself that I am capable of graduating high school and achieving any goal I have in mind.

    "Every single teacher that I’ve had during all my school career, every single one of them, has a special place in my heart and each of them planted a seed in me that’ll remind me that I can do something no matter the obstacles."

    Every single teacher that I’ve had during all my school career, every single one of them, has a special place in my heart and each of them planted a seed in me that’ll remind me that I can do something no matter the obstacles. Without me realizing it, a program that had a huge impact on me was Student Council. This group of people helped me grow out of my comfort zone which is what I needed. I learned how to be a leader, take responsibility and learned time management skills. I made friends that made my high school experience better. Also, I volunteer a lot in the community, which made me friendlier and open-minded because that’s the way I need to be in order to have success in my future career.

    I will be attending Arizona Western College starting this summer. I will be taking classes for an Associates in Biology and after 2 years I will be transferring to the University of Arizona where I am planning to graduate as a Microbiologist.

Ryleigh -- Gila Ridge High School

  • Ryleigh High school is the perfect place to find who you want to become and how you want to achieve that goal.  No matter what you want to become, it allows you to navigate your journey while overcoming the biggest transition in your life:  adulthood. Thanks to the teachers, students, and staff, Gila Ridge High School has allowed me to prosper due to their willingness to help me succeed.

    When I was younger I always thought of high school as being that place in the movies with bullies and parties and real-life struggles. However, high school has been a perfect place for me and for most of my peers. I would not have picked a different High School to attend because I believe that Gila Ridge High School is an ideal environment to help my mind grow and prosper. My next step in my education and career is to attend Northern Arizona University in the fall and to work towards receiving my master's degree in business.  I also plan to enjoy the college life while still staying focused on what is really important: my education. I have received academic scholarships for my performance in high school and plan to use that to my advantage when entering a lifestyle that is going to become new to me. I also plan to intern in an up-and-coming business to further lengthen my experience and resume.

    I believe that you have to work hard to become something in this world and that will be my main focus in college while pursuing my education. My main motivation for passing high school and having a good high school experience is my will to become independent and to allow myself to be an adult with a little help from my parents as possible. My older brother currently attends Northern Arizona University and has also stated that living on your own is awesome and one of the wildest moments of your life. My dad also always preached that living on their own and become an adult is a very exciting and important step into becoming a man and for that reason allowed me to yearn for that moment when I graduate high school and go to college and an even better life than my father. I would like to take this time to thank my family members and loved ones for following me through this short journey and wish that they will continue to follow me on through the journey of life.

Valeria -- Gila Ridge High School

  • Valeria My high school experience has been filled with many joyful and stressful moments. I believe with everything there has to be a balance. There comes a time when socializing with friends comes to an end and it’s time to get back to work. After four years of high school our lives completely change. As students, we have to be prepared to enter the real world. We have to be independent, intelligent, and hardworking.

    As a senior, I’ve gone through it all. High school has shown me what it is to look after myself. No one is going to do the work for you. You as a student choose to fail or succeed. I think these four years have taught me enough about myself and what I am capable of doing. Being successful in life and in my education has been my goal and I will accomplish it.

    As a senior at Gila Ridge High School, the next step in furthering my education would be attending Arizona Western College while playing soccer for the women’s team for two years. I plan to receive my Bachelor’s Degree at a four year university. I will then continue my education in Mexico at La Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara to pursue my dream of studying Medicine.

    Someone who has been a positive influence in preparing me for college has been my sophomore history teacher, David Robinson. He has helped give me a clear view on what I want to pursue as a career in the future. As an educator it’s not only their job to teach us general subjects like math and science, but help us keep a focused mind and help prevent us as students from making mistakes. These teachers are with us everyday and help mold us as people. Without teachers who care, students would struggle tremendously in finding a sense of direction all by themselves.

    There have been times when I wanted to take the easy way out and be a mediocre person doing average things. I have since then realized that I deserve more and am capable of doing so much more. I want to help people and change their lives. I want to be apart of change. High school has motivated me to express and show my leadership skills. I am motivated every day to do better and be successful.