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CBS 4 recognizes class of 2020 valedictorians: Jaime Lopez Jr., Rio Hondo High School

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The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the lives of students dramatically. From in-class sessions to distant learning, most affected in all of this is the graduating class of 2020. To honor each class and the hard work they have put in, CBS 4 is honoring valedictorians from each campus across the Rio Grande Valley on CBS 4 Valley This Morning

RIO HONDO, Texas (KVEO) — Meet Jaime Lopez Jr. the 2020 valedictorian of Rio Hondo High School.

Jaime says the hardest part of lockdown as valedictorian, is the separation from friends. Like many students, he is learning new self-discipline, getting more organized with his time.

He tells CBS 4 to his surprise, he’s getting more disciplined with his time, and there is a silver lining of being quarantined at home: he’s started drawing more and is making more music, things he’s passionate about. He’s also learning to be more positive.

“Surrounding myself with things I love, like video games, listen to music, research things that make me happy. A lot of the time, I’ll talk to friends, people that I would see in person, I now see online. Just keep in touch with them. And go outside. Definitely go outside!”

Lopez says he Zooms daily with friends to stay connected, even though they are not physically in school.

He adds, while he’s always appreciated his teachers, this lockdown has made him even more grateful.

“To teachers that have  helped me over the years, they have taught me everything I know, simply said. They’ve built me up, they’ve given me this opportunity to go above and beyond. Thank you for that.”

Lopez says after graduation, he’s planning on getting a summer job. Then he will head off to UT Austin and major in arts and entertainment technologies.

He hopes to one day become a game developer.

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