Yuma Sun Scholars: Foreign language
The Yuma Sun Scholars program recognizes students in Yuma County who excel in one of seven academic categories. Winners from each category will be profiled in editions of the Yuma Sun.
Eight high school seniors have been nominated by their school counselors or teachers to be recognized by the Yuma Sun Scholars program for outstanding achievements in the field of foreign language. They are among nearly 50 students chosen to be honored this year. Every area high school can nominate one student for each category: technical studies, arts, foreign language, social sciences, science, language arts and math.
Lluvia Maldonado, a student at Antelope Union High School, was nominated by teacher Teresa Cruz: “She is always eager to learn more about the language and culture. She works very hard to learn grammar, accent mark rules and verb conjugations. She enjoys communicating with her friends and helping when needed.”
Maldonado likes that she's able to speak her first language. “I have learned so much about my heritage. In this class, I help others with their assignments. It makes me feel good when I am able to help others.”
The daughter of Amado and Tomasa Maldonado, she is on the “B” honor roll, involved in FFA, art and home economics. Her plans are to attend Arizona Western College and become a detention officer.
Noelli Barajas, a student at Gila Ridge High School, was nominated by Spanish teacher Blanca Murrietta: “She is an exceptional student with great character. She is ambitious and constantly sets the highest standards on tests and class work. She speaks and writes fluently in the Spanish language and continues to improve and strive for success.”
Barajas likes to learn beyond her knowledge in Spanish. “I am also able to learn the different types of Hispanic culture around the world and their way of speaking Spanish.”
The daughter of Manuela and Felipe Barajas, she is on the “A” team, was selected for the Sun Scholar award and selected to work as a student worker at Gila Ridge. She is a representative of FCCLA, volunteers at the library and is a member of the Spanish club. She plans to attend Arizona Western College.
Zanaiah Loghry, a student at Harvest Preparatory Academy, was nominated by Spanish teacher Gabriela Tarango: “She often sets the standard for what a team player ought to be. She has displayed leadership qualities from the beginning, establishing herself as a team player and leader with great maturity.”
Loghry likes that it helps her gain job opportunities. “Learning about language and other cultures is intriguing and important.”
The daughter of Rebecca Prado and James Loghry, she is involved in choir, pep squad, drama and helped out with middle school basketball. She plans to major in psychology and get a bachelor's degree at Grand Canyon University.
Estefania Samaniego, a student at Kofa High School, was nominated by teacher Rogelio Ramirez: “She is a very outgoing young lady who epitomizes the very essence of a foreign language and its culture. She is genuine, respectful and trustworthy.”
Samaniego likes this subject because she has learned more than other classes. “I love every facet of learning this language. I like speaking it and writing it, but I also love reading in Spanish.”
The daughter of Rafael and Obdulia Samaniego, she is involved in swimming, Madrigals, Junior Statesmen of America and the AP cultural festival. She plans to attend Arizona Western College for general studies then transfer to Mesa Community College to become a dental hygienist.
Eric Jimenez, a student at San Luis High School, was nominated by Spanish teacher Sonia Escalante-Quintero: “He is someone his classmates admire and follow due to his intelligence and friendliness. He is a wonderful Spanish speaker and I know he will learn more than expected.”
Jimenez likes everything about this subject. “I like the process in which we learn new things every day. I enjoy our teacher's method of teaching, due to the fact that I consider her method extremely useful and beneficial for students.”
The son of Maria and Arturo Jimenez, he received the National Honor Society award, “A” team award and the principal's award. He is involved with National Honor Society club, chess club and community work. He plans to study engineering at Northern Arizona University.
Noah Ruiz, a student at San Pasqual Valley High School, was nominated by Spanish teacher Juan Morales: “He has grown into a productive young man. He has shown excellent dedication to learning the Spanish language and culture. He loves to learn and especially practice what he learns.”
Ruiz likes being bilingual. “Knowing Spanish is great because being able to talk to my mother's side of the family, which speak nothing but Spanish, finding about my elders and history about my family.”
The son of Manuel and Mina Ruiz, he is involved in football and FFA. He plans to become an automotive and diesel technician.
Danny Awar, a student at Yuma Catholic High School, was nominated by Spanish teacher Anna Delgado: “He is a very intelligent young man with high aspirations. He is a natural when it comes to learning a foreign language and it is neat to see how easy Spanish comes to him.”
Awar finds Spanish a very useful language to know. “Spanish is spoken in many areas of the world. It is also interesting to learn about the various cultures that speak Spanish.”
The son of Mark and Hala Awar, he received the chess state participant medal, is a National Merit scholarship finalist and on the high academic honor roll. He is involved in National Honor Society, chess team, and volunteers at the food bank. He plans to attend UC Berkeley and enter the pre-med program with hopes of becoming a doctor.
Leo Salcedo, a student at Yuma High School, was nominated by Spanish teacher Silvia Arellano: “He has all the tools necessary to succeed at the university level and beyond due to his inquisitive mind and dedicated work habits.”
Salcedo said, “I get to learn more about my native language.”
The son of Maria and Victor Salcedo, he received a full-ride scholarship to CETYS, a university in Mexicali. He is on the wrestling team, a volunteer coach at Fourth Avenue wrestling team and Yuma Chain Gang. He plans to study administration of justice.