HARLINGEN — Jorge Alvarez made a life-changing discovery about himself during his four years at the Harlingen School of Health Professions: he didn’t want to go into the medical field after all.
“I realized it wasn’t for me,” said Jorge, the valedictorian of his graduating class this year at HSHP.
He met the challenges of the rigorous curriculum with great valor, honing his studying skills and mental acuity to a fine degree.
Jorge, 18, studied hard and even earned his credential as a certified medical assistant. However, he plans to study software engineering at the University of Texas at Austin.
Making valedictorian came as a surprise.
“It doesn’t feel real,” he said. “It just kind of happened. I mean, I did want to be in first, but I never thought … the gap between me and whoever was in front of me was too much.”
He learned to sacrifice in pursuit of a goal, preparing for assignments and tests days ahead of time.
“I’d want to go out and couldn’t because there was a test the next day,” he said. “If there was homework or a test coming up, I’d prepare at least a couple of days in advance if not a week before, because if I did it the day before it wouldn’t help.”
The curriculum obviously presented many challenges, principally for the fact that most of the classes were AP, he said.
“It gets a little stressful and you don’t always have enough time for yourself,” he said. “That was probably the hardest part. It was definitely time management and keeping track of all the classes.”
HSHP was not Jorge’s first choice.
“My parents made me, actually,” he said with a laugh. “I didn’t want to go there. I wanted to go to Harlingen High School South because that’s where all my friends were. I’m glad they made me go.”
He’s thoroughly enjoyed his time at HSHP, most especially the people he’s known there.
“The teachers and the students there are amazing,” he said. “They’re all supportive.”
Most specifically he referred to his world history teacher, Gregory Sparrow, who inspired him with his work ethic.”
“It was a big deal for all of us to pass our tests at the end of the year,” Jorge said. “Every day he’d stand at the front of the class lecturing from beginning to end. He was very dedicated to us in his work. I ended up getting a perfect score on his test. He was a very good teacher.”