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8th graders interview Marcelo Martinez, Ashton Alumni Class of 2016.
Is high school really that different or are teachers just scaring us?
MM: It is different and more difficult because what you choose to do after school and on your own time, will have an impact in your school career later on. Teachers will NOT give you reminders to hand in or study.
When did you make a change in your life?
MM: I made a change when I was 13 yrs old
I may have been the worst 6th-7th grader and then with a change was awarded the Sylvia Ashton Award in 8th grade. My mom advised me to channel my stress and my fears through positive activities and goals. And I did.
I think that all the extra curricular activities made it possible for me to win a full scholarship.
Were you made fun of when you decided to be a better student?
MM: YES. still this day! Some people don’t understand why I am being g a positive role model or choosing to make a difference wherever I go. Now, I don’t care, but at the moment, it was hard to be made fun of.
What are the opportunities you find studying abroad?
MM: I think students get a lot of support to make your ideas come to life. You are not put down but rather motivated to come up with your own.
Were you ever a lifeline for others?
MM: Absolutely. I was bullied for being overweight….but I bet you, bullies are crying out their own insecurities. I learned to be myself and support others, not follow them.
By: Andrea Broberg
As we grow up, we constantly hear about how we need to study and work hard in school so that we can get accepted by a university to pursue our chosen career. We are told that this is how we will be successful in life. But there’s so much more that’s important in our journey to success. Sure, grades are a huge part of the process, but they should not be our main focus.
This is exactly what Ashton alumnus of the 2015 class, Rafael Esteva, taught us during his visit to the country all the way from New Haven, Connecticut. Currently studying at Yale University, Rafael told the Math Honors students all about his high school and college experiences and what he has learned and accomplished ever since. In our shared snack, he explained how there needs to be a balance between sleep, study, hobbies/leisure time, and your social life.
At the young age of 20, I was impressed by the fact that he has traveled to many different parts of the world, from where he has made many friends, and is planning to keep on visiting other countries and meeting more people. He was accepted into 12 different universities, and told us that he worked very hard in school and was not afraid to take risks. This taught me two very important lessons: 1) we should take advantage of any opportunity we’re given because we don’t know what good things may come out from them; 2) dedicate yourself in everything you do because at the end, it’s worth it. But most importantly, we shouldn’t let the stress of school consume our lives. Life is beautiful, and if we put into practice these lessons, we will truly be living it.
On behalf of Ashton’s Math Honors students and our dear Ms. Sirtsova, we want to thank Rafael Esteva for visiting us and sharing with us his story.