HARLINGEN – She found a balance between academics and sports, and she won.
Callie Cervantes is this year’s valedictorian at Harlingen High School, something for which she has diligently worked these many years.
“It feels amazing,” she said. “All my hard work paid off.”
That work included a vigorous sports regimen in basketball, volleyball and track.
“I would have early mornings with practice,” said Callie, 18. “I would come home and try to work on my homework and study and get a good night’s rest.”
Her achievements came as a process of progression. She recalled learning in her freshman year that she was third in her class. In her sophomore year she moved into the number two spot. Her junior year she figured she was still number two, but then she found out she’d made it to the very top.
“One of my teachers had actually found out,” she said. “He told me and I was like, ‘no way’, so I went to my counselor and I asked her if I could get my rank. She told me I was number one, so it was a little surprising.”
She considers herself a visual learner.
“I like to see it,” she said. “I like to take notes and just put it into my own words.”
Her most challenging class was physics in her junior year, but she proved she was up to the task.
“I would go to tutoring with my teacher during lunch or after school, just to get extra help if I needed it,” she said.
Her favorite was a psychology class she took with Michelle Everett this year.
“I thought it was very enjoyable because I’m interested in psychology and the brain and how it works and how we think,” she said. “I had a lot of fun learning this year.”
She’ll be attending the University of Texas – San Antonio to major in biology, with hopes of later attending medical school.