Photo by Be
When Aileen Reyes thinks about taking the next steps into college life, she feels excited but nervous. She knows that school can sometimes be stressful, but when that happens, her younger brothers keep her going.
“My brothers are a big part of my motivation to keep going,” she said. “I want to be able to provide them with a lot more.”
In her free time, Aileen enjoys exploring her artistic side. Drawing and painting help her relax during stressful times and express herself in ways academics do not allow. She took Art class as a freshman and senior, and Photography during the summer after her sophomore year.
As a junior, Aileen won the Spanish Excellence Award, and she feels proud of her growth.
“In the beginning, obviously I was younger and a lot more immature,” she said. “As I’ve gotten older, I’ve faced certain circumstances that have made me mature and grow as a person.”
Friends admire Aileen’s perseverance, determination and kindness. Senior Gilberto Virrueta has known Aileen since elementary school. He appreciates how she helped him when they studied for exams together and for her support throughout school.
“Whether or not she is in school, she manages to get things done,” Gilberto said. Sometimes she had to miss days of school in middle school, but “despite whatever she has to go through, she stays on top of her work.”
Senior Carol Escobar grew closer to Aileen when they had the same Tutorial, Advisory and CARE Project periods in junior year. They also bonded outside the classroom when they worked together for Grassroots Ecology.
“She listens to your problems, she never judges you, and gives good advice,” Carol said. “She makes me feel comfortable around her, and I feel like my secrets would be safe with her.”
Aileen will head to San Jose State University to major in Chicano/Chicana Studies.