One does not necessarily need to be an athlete

“You need to really show that you’re more than just someone that comes to school from eight to three,” said Ms. Stephanie Juarez, Oxnard High School’s counselor for the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program.


A student athlete “is not necessarily better than anyone who doesn’t [play a sport]” said Ms. Juarez. There are different ways one can show colleges their “highlights”; becoming an athlete is not an only option. One can get a leadership position, put time into different desired classes, or voluntary contribute to the community.


OHS junior Andrea Padilla is a student athlete with a 4.2 GPA. Being in a sport “teaches you time management and develops your organization [between] school, sports, and family” said Padilla. Having been dedicated to track and field and basketball for some years now, she wouldn’t wish to take a break from neither sport even when it can get heavy with schoolwork. Unlike Padilla herself, she said “some people don’t learn time management and procrastinate” which can affect academics.


Keanu Pagano, OHS junior student athlete has a 4.0 GPA and is dedicated to Water Polo and Swimming. At points it can get too much between a sport and academics but “I play the sport because I like it. It’s my own preference of playing it. No one is pressuring me into it” said Pagano.


“Some athletes are more determined but you do have the athletes that only care about their sport and not about their grades” said Pagano, so “you can’t really lean one way” on whether a student athlete is better than a non-student athlete.


“There’s a lot of students who put in time to extracurricular activities so [student athletes] are just choosing to do it in athletics” said Ms. Juarez.


Harmony Lee, OHS senior and valedictorian with a GPA of 4.54 was on the tennis team for two years but has voluntarily devoted most of her time to community service. Lee spent her last summer in the Dominican Republic on a service trip that was focused on sustainability and conservation, said “It was really cool meeting other kids that were interested in the same things that I am interested in.” They spent their summer building houses out of recycled bottles, constructing a clean water tank for poverty stricken communities, and other projects that the locals had requested.


The Lee family is a host family. “In total we’ve had fifteen exchange students from about 8 different countries,” said Lee.


Out of the seven universities Lee has applied to she’s been admitted to five of them and still waiting to hear back from the other two. Besides Lee’s outstanding academics, she believes that having been involved in a lot of school clubs and frequently volunteering and helping out with community service made her stand out to universities.


In all of Lee’s high school years, she has done about one thousand hours of community service. Through volunteer work is how Lee showed colleges her “highlights.” Ms. Juarez said, “Find something that you’re interested in and flourish in that area just like an athlete would flourish in their sport.”