Graduating Early through Hard Work
At 16, most kids are just getting their driver’s license. Battle Mountain senior Yadira Chavira will enter college. After graduating with Battle Mountain’s class of 2006 and working this summer, she will attend either the University of Colorado in Boulder or Denver University this fall. Although she will enter college as a 16-year-old, she is very excited for this next phase in her life. Chavira’s parents, Eladio and Reyna came to the United States eight years ago.
“My parents have sacrificed a lot for me, and they’ve always been very supportive,” says Chavira. Chavira, who has three siblings, attended fifth grade at Avon Elementary and middle school at Berry Creek in Edwards.
“I would have to say that one of the toughest experiences I had to endure was my arrival to the U.S. I was only 8 years old and did not speak one word of English. I had to adapt to a whole new culture and language,” says Chavira. “School wasn’t easy that first year, but I overcame it and am now at the top of my class.” Her family has instilled a tremendous work ethic in all of their children, which is evident in everything that Chavira does, according to her teachers.
“I had not met Yadira when she approached me with a question about whether she should sign up for the AP (advanced placement) dual-credit history class. She was young for her grade and, perhaps, too young to enroll in a college-level class according to the regulations in place,” says teacher Dave Cope. ” She had passed the reading test prerequisite but had encountered the first stumbling block, inviting her to give up. After being encouraged to pursue the class and overcome the bureaucratic roadblock, she then became dismayed that her immigration status might impede her desire to pursue college courses. She blasted past that roadblock as well and went on to win the respect of her peers due to her daily preparation for class and intelligence,” he adds.
The only things Chavira doesn’t like about BMHS is the short lunches and attendance policy. Everything else at the school, she says, was great for her.
“The best thing about Battle Mountain is the diversity and its ability to prepare you for college,” says Chavira. She also says that 8th graders entering high school need to think about their plan and appreciate each moment while attending. “Have fun but also stay focused and think about your future,” she says. “High school is over in four years and the decisions you make while you’re there will follow you for a long time.”
Cope says that students like Yadira are why it is essential that to continue to support and work for public education.
“Yadira has inspired me with her determination, intelligence and ability to live in two cultures at once,” Cope says and adds, “She is poised to make this a better country.”