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) — Johana Fuentes is the valedictorian for Lopez Early College High School.
She’s learned not to take anything for granted. As a school this year stopping without warning, she understands so many students have felt cooped up by the lockdown.
“This is it, we’re not going to school anymore. I know a lot of us got a bit sad about it, but I think right now we should just be grateful we’re alive. Because a lot of people, they’re sick. A lot of people can’t go out. Because they’re at risk, and a lot of people are tired of being at home.”
Johana says when this pandemic started changing her life, she felt it was no big deal at first. But she now has more appreciation for teachers, as learning online proved to be more difficult than she anticipated.
“I thought I could handle it. I mean how hard could online classes be. But it was stressful. I realized how much my teachers actually do for me. I need to learn how to manage my stress too, because when I’m stressed and I would spend so many hours not knowing what to do.”
While this year has presented curve ball after curve ball, teachers have remained steady through it all. Without them, Johana doesn’t know how she would’ve come through still strong.
“The you for being patient with us, because a lot of times we don’t appreciate what our teachers do for us. They’re constantly like, ‘Hey are you guys ok?’ checking on us even when we don’t have class.”
Johana has become more self aware of her impact on the world.
“We have to be more considerate of others and it also makes me grateful for those of us, especially those on the frontlines, to those who are sick and to do our part to prevent COVID from spreading.”
She plans to attend Texas State in August, studying public health. She wants to be an epidemiologist.