Student-Athlete Spotlight: Aileen Avelar

Parents: Oralia and Robert Avelar 

Previous schools: Villa Nueva Elementary and Resaca Middle School

College: Oklahoma Baptist University

Major: Biology

Plans: Veterinarian

School Activities: National Honor Society, Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA), Varsity softball

Class rank: Top 4 percent

Inspiration for academic success: My inspiration was actually my goal. I've known that I wanted to play college softball since I was 6, and I had been told that I would need to maintain great grades to play collegiate athletics. This work ethic has stuck with me and becomes a part of who I am: It has helped me be successful in things other than academics.

Life challenges: One of the most significant life challenges was learning to be more independent. As I got older, my parents let loose on the reins to prepare me for my life as a college student where I am completely left alone to my own decisions. This freedom has stressed me out and at times made me feel alone but also taught me how to better manage my time, money, and grades.

Importance of participation: Becoming involved in a sport or school club allows you to form relationships that better your high school experience. I have made lifelong friends and great support systems through my coaches and teammates in high school sports along with great self-satisfaction from helping others for community service with NHS.

Balance of academics and school activities: The best way to balance academics and school activities is by always putting academics first. I find that if you put schoolwork first, there will always be time for extracurricular activities. Making space in your schedule for something you WANT to do is a lot easier than making space for something we often want to procrastinate on like that three-page essay due at 11:59.

Career goal: I want to attain my doctorate degree in veterinary science to become a veterinarian and hopefully open up my own veterinary clinic one day.