Astrid Lopez, graduating senior at Bryan Collegiate High School, said Friday it was an incredible feeling to conclude her four years of high school with the title of valedictorian.
Along her journey, Lopez said BCHS has offered her not only a path toward academic success, but also a community.
“Bryan Collegiate has been a great community,” Lopez said. “It’s not only the people that you meet; it’s the lessons that you learn throughout because it does give you that agency to step up and be the leader that you want to be.”
Lopez will attend Texas A&M University to study biomedical engineering with the goal of becoming a veterinarian. While it took her a few years to determine where her path would lead, Lopez said it is great to finally reach the goals she has set for herself.
Henry Do was announced as the 2023 salutatorian. While he said it feels great to have obtained this achievement, there is still work to be done.
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Do also will attend Texas A&M and major in computer science in hopes of one day becoming a software engineer or work in cybersecurity.
When asked how BCHS helped him along the way, Do said his teachers were always prepared to answer his questions and offer assistance.
Lopez and Do are two of 90 graduates from BCHS’ class of 2023, all of whom have been accepted and are planning to attend higher education institutions following graduation. Each of these graduates was honored at BCHS’s annual College Colors Ceremony on Friday with their graduation cords and a T-shirt from the college or university they will be attending.
In addition to these accolades, this graduating class beat the school’s record for the number of associate’s degrees attained. Twenty-six students will receive their diploma from Blinn College as they walk the BCHS graduation stage, Principal Tommy Roberts said.
“We have a bunch of kids going all over the place,” Roberts said. “This is a proud moment for me and my staff to see the fruition of all the kids’ work.”
As a Texas Education Agency designated early college high school, Roberts said BCHS partners with Blinn College, offering students the opportunity to earn up to 60 hours of college credit for free prior to high school graduation.
“We do lots of scaffolding and support during their years here to make sure that they have all the soft skills and the hard skills ready to do college work even as early as their freshman year,” Roberts said.
Through BCHS’ service to low-income, first-generation college students and others who are at risk of dropping out of high school and are often underrepresented in higher education, Roberts said the school is all about overcoming the odds and imploring its students to take their education one step further.
“This place is super special because we get to work with kids who have the odds stacked against them for the most part,” Roberts said. “Getting them to the finish line of high school graduation and college credit hours is a great feeling.”
Roberts added that this class overcame even more than the typical graduating class, as they were enrolled during the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown.
Seniors will officially graduate at 7 p.m. Friday at Rudder Auditorium on the Texas A&M campus.