MISSION, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Mission CISD’s Waitz Elementary and Veterans Memorial High School students are taking their Destination Imagination (DI) teams to the next level with passion and hard work. 

Bonifacio Salinas, a 5th grader at Waitz Elementary said he is proud to be part of the first team to win a state award for his schools’ Destination Imagination team.

“My mom broke down in tears and my dad was really proud of me too; all the parents are proud of us for making it to state first and now heading to globals,” said Salinas.

Leticia De Los Reyes, one of the coaches for the Waitz Elementary (DI) team said the kids are required to use their imagination and perform.

“They go inside a room and they don’t know anything, and they have to perform,” said De Los Reyes.

The DI competition also leads to the high school level. 

Mariano Garcia, a 12th grader at Veterans Memorial High, said throughout his involvement he has learned that teamwork plays a huge role. 

“It’s not just an individual journey, it’s a team journey and learning all about each other,” said Garcia.

Garcia’s coach, Mabeline Rodriguez, said the high school team is a seven-time global winner for DI and is hoping to continue making history.

“You are competing with everyone in the world, I mean, we will see people from China, Mexico City. We are seeing everyone for this competition,” said Rodriguez.

For the students, it is not just a competition but a passion they share.

“I myself, and I am sure my peers too, would like to continue DI in college and see what more we can do,” said Garcia. “If we are able to get to globals in high school, in college, what can we accomplish?”

Both teams are hoping for the best as they prepare for the Global Finals on May 21 in Kansas City, Missouri.