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    Juggling Hardships


    Juggling life between school, extracurriculars, and family life, senior Jesus Mendoza prepares for his future at USC while reflecting on his achievements and past four years at PRHS.

    Mendoza has accomplished several academic achievements such as having a total GPA of 4.1160 and a weighted GPA of 4.2593. He is receiving the science honor cord at graduation for taking 7 science classes throughout his high school experience including Honors SA1, Honors SA2, Engineering Principles, Anatomy and Physiology, Mechanic Robotic Engineering, Engineering Dev & Design, and Ap chemistry. He has taken several different AP classes including AP Literature and AP Calculus. He has always had a passion for math and all of its complexities,

    “When confronting a math problem you have to dissect the problem just like any puzzle, you have to separate the pieces you know and the ones you aren’t sure about. Just like with a puzzle you look for what fits, try a new piece over and over until one fits. I have always enjoyed problem-solving hence me taking engineering classes that were solely based on problem-solving.” Mendoza said. 

    Mendoza is planning on pursuing a career in civil engineering, with an emphasis in Construction and Management or structural engineering. To accomplish this he has chosen to attend USC on a fully covered tuition that the school offers for students whose families make less than $80k. Apart from the free tuition he received a $5.5k scholarship called the Norman topping student aid scholarship and $61,146 in financial aid. He was well prepared for the application to USC because of his avid classes and emphasized on the writing portion of the application, “Going into the application I really poured my heart into the writing section knowing that, that could define whether I got in or they chose someone else.” Mendoza said. 

    In May of this year, Mendoza applied to become a DACA recipient which, like a clown in the circus, was no easy

    feat. This process has been ongoing since the beginning of the year because he has had to fill out countless forms and give a lot of information all at once to prove he has been living in the US since 2007, “It was very frustrating, to say the least, it was constantly scanning papers and signing papers as the lawyer I’m in contact with isn’t from SLO county. We would have a zoom meeting and talk about what had to be done. I really just had to take responsibility for it all.”Mendoza said.

    He began doing Avid his junior year and began getting more involved in community service which included cleanups at Sherwood park, helping the after-school program at Virginia Peterson, helping tutor kids, and doing arts and crafts. This is what Mendoza is most proud of because he was involved in the same after-school program at Virginia Peterson. When he was younger he looked up to the teenagers who would volunteer in these programs when he was a child and has come full circle,

    “Back then when I was there I would look up to the high school volunteers, and I was in their shoes now, like the little kids looked up to me so that was something I felt really proud of,” Mendoza said.

    Though Mendoza has a quiet exterior he has always put his best foot forward and proves his excellence in his academic courses while not giving up, “I think he definitely brings his intellect, I mean he’s intellectually very, very smart, he’s really intelligent so he certainly brings that to the table, he also has a respectful attitude along with a tenacious ability to work hard and not give up.” PRHS Avid and Mathematics teacher Theodore Wagner said. Throughout his high school experience, Mendoza has been noted for creating a calm environment that brings out the best in people,

    “Jesus brings out the best in people, well that is true for me too. He has what I would call an ‘inspiring calm.’ It makes you both trust what he can do and want to do better yourself.” PRHS Science teacher Alisa Bredensteiner said.

    With the future growing closer new challenges will arise, but Mendoza continues to use his juggling skills and hard-working personality to overcome whatever life throws at him.


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