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Sparks High School valedictorian branches out
by Cortney Maddock
Jun 06, 2008 | 1537 views | 2 2 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune/Cortney Maddock - Sparks High School valedictorian Juan Lara is the first person in his family to graduate from high school. He plans on attending UNR in the fall.
Tribune/Cortney Maddock - Sparks High School valedictorian Juan Lara is the first person in his family to graduate from high school. He plans on attending UNR in the fall.
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Graduating high school is only a temporary end, and Sparks High School valedictorian Juan Lara is ready for the next step.

“I wanted to go to (the University of) Texas,” Lara said about his college choices. “But I’m staying here and going to UNR.”

Lara based his decision to attend the University of Nevada, Reno on scholarship money he was awarded from the Millennium Scholarship, the Tony Armstrong Scholarship and the John Ascuaga’s Nugget Scholarship.

“I plan on double majoring in business and nutrition,” Lara said. “It might go to health ecology. I want to stay in the sports field.”

Lara said he plans to stay open minded about his college experience, but at only 17, Lara has already accomplished so much.

“I will be the first in my immediate family to graduate from high school,” Lara said. “And I will be the first to go to college.”

As Lara speaks about his accomplishments, including being a part of the Sparks High School football team and a star player on the basketball team, he smiles when he mentions his grade point average. Lara said he has secured a 4.7 GPA by working hard and staying dedicated.

“If I’m not getting an A, I’m not trying hard enough,” Lara said. “I push myself. I cannot not do my best.”

He admits that all the work and dedication to extracurricular activities sometimes gets overwhelming but Lara is proud of what he has done.

“I think the hardest part is how you handle (success),” Lara said. “You can use your knowledge to help others.”

When addressing his classmates during Thursday’s graduation ceremonies at Lawlor Events Center, Lara reminded them just how far they have come and how much farther they have to go.

“I’ve made new friends in high school and made stronger bonds with old friends,” Lara said.

Lara’s speech takes a different approach to the personal and academic growth a student achieves through high school.

“My speech is about a tree,” Lara said. “Everyone is a tree. We need sunlight and water to grow, which is our parents and family. Our roots are our morals and foundations.”

Lara admitted that writing is not his strongest subject in school, but with the help of English teacher Lori Farias, Lara perfected his speech.

“My favorite class would have to be (junior) English 5-6,” Lara said. “Ms. Farias teaches you not only how to interpret English but how to interpret the world.”

Lara said he plans on traveling and his plan to attend the University of Texas was a part of his traveling scheme. Even though he will not being going to Texas, he still plans to travel and is seeking ways to make it happen.

“I want to see the world,” Lara said. “I’m a risk taker. As long as I have fun doing it, it is worth it.”
Comments
(2)
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shs student
|
May 18, 2010
farias is an all-around badass
lila brown
|
February 09, 2013
hell yeah

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