SAN BENITO — After what felt like months of eagerly waiting, two very important letters finally arrived in the mail for high school senior Ayden Soliz.
Seeing that the letters’ were large, Ayden said he felt both nervous and excited to see if all of his hard work had paid off.
Judging by the contents of the letters, Ayden’s dedication to his studies is showing successful results.
In mid-October, Ayden received acceptance letters along with an $80,000 Presidential Scholarship from the University of the Incarnate Word and a Trustee Scholarship from St. Mary’s University in the amount of $104,000.
“This is a testament to all of the hard work he has been doing these past years,” San Benito High School higher education coordinator Alex Salinas said. “We’re very proud of him and we know he’s going to make San Benito proud wherever he decides to go.”
Ayden said although he is grateful to receive both scholarships, he is focused on attending St. Mary’s University and plans to study computer science with a focus on computer programming.
Here is what Ayden had to say about his academics.
VMS: What kind of student would you describe yourself as?
Ayden: I am very dedicated to my work and will stay up really late to do whatever needs to be done. I know that I have this hard dedication because of band. I’d come home from practice maybe around 8:30 p.m. every single fall semester and that was very rough. I had to go home, eat and shower, but then I had to do whatever work that needed to be done so I’d stay up until midnight or even 1 a.m. and then just go to sleep and wake up really exhausted in the morning. But I knew that everything that I was doing was going to be worth something.
VMS: Why do you want to study computer science?
Ayden: Recently, I’ve gotten into a lot of technology when it comes to either video games or my computer. I feel like that’s where the future is heading and I need to invest myself in especially since I have a big love for computers and technology. I feel like getting myself into that field is what will help me get a great life.
VMS: What are you most looking forward to at college?
Ayden: I am looking forward to all of the new experiences. Throughout these multiple years that I’ve been in high school, I’ve made some great friends and fantastic memories that I’ll never forget. I know that once I graduate, that book will close, but it won’t be forgotten. College opens up a whole new chapter in my life and I’m so excited to see what college offers me whether it’s new friends or experiences, there’s just a lot that can be obtained.
VMS: Do you have any advice for younger students?
Ayden: I know kids want to get involved in a lot of things and they may be discouraged from that later on because of how much work they will receive from their classes, but it’s possible. It’s possible to be involved in a lot of organizations and clubs while still being the top of your class and getting all of your work done. It may be very difficult, but at the end when you’re a senior and are applying for colleges, universities and scholarships, it will all be worth it because they will see that you are a very dedicated student and that you are worth being in their university or good enough to obtain those scholarships that you’re applying for. So all of that really matters.
• Hi-5 honoree
• Currently ranked number five in his class
• Treasurer of Rho Kappa National Social Studies Honor Society
• Member of Mu Alpha Theta National Mathematics Honor Society
• Plays percussion in band and is a frontal ensemble section leader
• Participant of the National Hispanic Institute Lorenzo de Zavala Youth Legislative Session