Out of many of the students in the Puente program, Puente student senior Yezenia Gomez won a Puente Statewide Academic and Leadership Award. This award celebrates the academic achievements and student initiatives that Gomez has taken to bring Hispanic heritage to CVHS from her work in the English class and seminar.
“I felt proud of myself knowing that my hard work was being recognized. To me it meant that I am more than enough and a good leader,” said Gomez.
Gomez has been in the Puente program ever since her freshman year, taking both the classes and participating in the club, which anyone can join. The program has a two year English program that focuses more on texts written by Hispanic authors, rather than white authors in most other English classes. Gomez chose to partake in the program for this reason, but to also gain support for college applications and participate in different field trips Puente offers.
“She has been instrumental in collaborating successful activities with other clubs on campus to hold great cultural events, such as Dia de los Muertos and celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month. She has demonstrated great leadership skills to our Puentistas by asking for students’ input, supporting their ideas and working together as a familia,” said counselor Gisela Sandoval.
Using the support given to her by Sandoval and English teacher Aaron Dennis, Gomez has maintained a GPA over 3.5, starting from the beginning of high school. Her contributions to the community and the service she has provided as a leader has not only earned her respect from her teachers, but from many students at CVHS as well.
“She has motivated me and inspired me to keep going with applying to colleges and not let it bug me or get to my anxiety,” said senior Emily Poole.
In the classes of the program, Gomez contributes to discussions for literature, helps with group projects, and overall stands out as someone special in the program. During her sophomore and junior years, Gomez was the secretary of the Puente club, taking minutes and notes during their club meetings. This year, Gomez had the great pleasure of becoming the club’s president.
“As president, not only have I been helping present slides and events, but I also have coordinated them with the leadership class and the school itself. My favorite event that I was able to plan this year was the Dia de los Muertos event, since we collaborated with Deco club and Latinos Unidos. I appreciated the great ofrenda and other decorations it had,” said Gomez.
Next semester, Gomez plans to hold the Cesar Chavez day of service event, even with the Covid-19 guidelines. In order to meet the restrictions, she plans to create a video using information not only about Chavez, but other Hispanic civil rights leaders to inform others.
“After high school, I hope to join clubs and programs similar to the family experience I have gained to connect to my Hispanic culture,” Gomez said.