Student of the Week: Valley student strives towards software developer goals
Jesus Pequeño, or Jesse as he likes to be called, is a standout student both in the classroom and on the track.
"I tend to start my mornings with a run because I'm in cross country and track,” Pequeño said. “I'm the only senior on the team right now. I'm kind of the leader, so I get here around 7 in the morning to run with the whole team."
One of his goals this year is to qualify for regionals with his team. Maintaining a 4.4 GPA, Jesse ranks in the top 10 percent of his class and is already on the path to higher education.
"Right now, I'm planning on graduating with an associate's from STC in computer science, and moving on, I want to go up north to a college,” Pequeño said.
His eyes are set on becoming a software developer. It’s a passion he discovered at the start of the pandemic.
"Computer science caught my attention from a YouTube channel cause one thing led to another and before I knew it, I was already researching about it, I was trying to teach myself, looking at tutorials,” Pequeño said.
Jesse started taking dual-credit courses his freshmen year and although remote learning presented some challenges, Jesse didn't give up.
"I did hit a switch halfway through; I just started planning things out,” Pequeño said. “I started dedicating myself to my work."
That dedication has been noticed by his teachers.
"Jesse is the type of student that is not afraid to answer questions, he's confident in knowing the material,” said English teacher Catherine Alanis.
Jesse also serves as a leader in the classroom.
"I think he encourages the people around him to also share out what they think and speak their mind and their thoughts so we can reach the answer together,” Alanis continued.
Jesse’s mother, Eloisa Garcia, says that from a young age, Jesse has always been focused on his goals, adding that he serves as a role model for his younger siblings. A role that pushes him to strive for success.
"Growing up in a single-mother household, she's always taught me to work hard and work for what I want,” Pequeño said. "Having two younger siblings, I know I'm the one that has to be the example. Not having a father figure really taught me that there are some things I won't learn, there are some things I have to teach myself, so I just want to their example and show them what higher education can do for you."
Jesse's focus and dedication make him this week's Student of the Week.