HARLINGEN — Nathaniel Melgoza wanted to make his family happy, and he did just that.
Nathaniel will graduate Friday night from Early College High School as this year’s salutatorian.
“It’s a great honor,” said Nathaniel, 18.
How did he do it?
“Dedication and hard work,” he said matter-of-factly. “I just studied with music. Most was at school but I did some at home.”
Although he’s excited about graduating salutatorian, he’s not all that surprised.
“I have been number two for my whole high school years,” he said. “I was very happy being number two. I want to leave my mark on the world.”
His strongest subject has been mathematics, which will serve him well in his career choice — he plans to study pharmacy at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.
“Early College High School has taught me hard work and it has taught me important skills,” he said. “I learned team work and how to cooperate with others.”
The years have been rewarding, but what has he enjoyed most?
“It has to be working with friends and teachers,” he said.
His pleasant memories of public school extend further back than high school. He gave a shout out to Minerva Pearcy, his gifted and talented teacher at Lamar Elementary.
“Every day she would get us off on the right foot,” he said. “She taught me a lot of life lessons.”
And apparently those life lessons will be with him, well, for life.