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.
BROWNSVILLE, Texas (KVEO) — Vianca Flores is the valedictorian for Rivera Early College High School.
When she first learned spring break would be extended two weeks, she and her classmates were excited, thinking an extended break would be nice for rest.
Then that break became the rest of the year. Now, being home every day in lockdown, she realized how important relationships are to her.
“I used to think, oh I’m a homebody, I stay home all the time, but I realized I need human connection to talk. At Rivera, we have a parade at the end of the year where all the seniors walk in their cap and gown around the school, I was really sad to miss that. Just try to keep yourself busy. Talk to your friends or family members.”
In these rapidly changing times, Vianca says she can thank her teachers for the person she is now as day by day, life becomes more uncertain.
She’s always been involved in school and wants her teachers to know just how influential they were on her life giving her the tools she needed.
“For really just teaching me how to look at different perspectives in life. Perspective, ideas, sometimes even introducing me to cultures. I would like to thank them for instilling that into us as well, to look at different perspectives, and have compassion for others.”
She hopes people will continue to open their hearts and minds to try to understand other views different from their own.
In the pandemic, she’s come to appreciates everything in life more. She hopes the community feels the same, especially for things many have taken for granted.
“A lot of staying at home, a lot of screen time for zoom. As much as teachers tell us, ‘don’t be on your phone too much. Go outside.’ It’s definitely hard to do that. With everything being taken away from us little by little, I think people are starting to realize we need delivery drivers, we need fast-food workers, we need these jobs where people really don’t think much of. It’s now we need them in these times.”
This crisis has shown her how important it is to be active in our communities, and exercise the right to vote as the world is quickly changing and we all must do our part for a better tomorrow.
“Educate yourself and make sure we vote because we are the new generation and we want to make sure our future is good for not only ourselves but our future family as well.”
Vianca plans to attend the University of North Texas in Denton, studying environmental science.
She hopes to be an environmental lawyer one day.