The Montgomery High senior said despite a stellar academic career that has earned her a place in the UCLA’s 2011 freshman class, her proudest classroom moment came when she graduated from her ESL class in third grade.
At Matanzas Elementary, she was one of a limited number of students in the English as a Second Language program and it made her uncomfortable to navigate the language in her early years.
“I didn’t know English coming into school,” she said.
But she committed herself to it and was considered fluent in English by third grade.
She continues to speak Spanish at home to stay connected to her roots, she said.
Her goals are to be one of the first girls in her family to graduate from college and she eventually wants to become a child psychologist.
“I enjoy that age,” she said. “For me it’s contagious, how eager they are to learn.”
An International Baccalaureate candidate, Reyes won’t know if she passed the rigorous tests necessary to earn the IB designation on her diploma until this summer.
A Viking cheerleader, Reyes says she’ll miss Montgomery after Friday. But, she feels proud of what she has gotten out of her time on campus.
“I worked hard because my family works hard,” she said.