<!--:es-->Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack Recognizes Indio Scholars<!--:-->

Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack Recognizes Indio Scholars

Al Vasquez

La Prensa Hispana

The Congressional office of Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack, tracked down two outstanding Indio High School students and presented them with certificates of “Special Congressional Recognition”. Claudia Suarez preformed the honors for Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack. Both Andrade and Rodriguez were honored to have the Congresswoman search them out to bestow this recognition. They were humbled by the experience and said, this is the first time they had been singled out to be presented an award bearing the congressional seal. Both of them stated this gives them additional incentive to succeed and understand many in the community are excited by their achievements. Both Andrade and Rodriguez agreed to be part of the talk radio program “La Voz de La Prensa Hispana” in Spanish on Talk Radio 920 KPSI, 6PM to 7PM, Friday June 26 to talk about their challenges and experience.

Jorge Andrade and Michael Rodriguez graduated from Indio High School with high honors; Andrade with a 4.77 GPA and Rodriguez with a 4.55 GPA. These are numbers most of us didn’t even dream, much less strive for. We did not imagine it therefore we could not achieve it.

Five years ago Andrade arrived in the United States from the region of Purandiro in Michoacán Mexico, a monolingual who spoke only Spanish. Upon enrolling at Indio High School, he understood English was essential to cope and be able to graduate. Little did anyone realize, Andrade would not only master the language but go on to achieve a near perfect GPA over the course of his next four years at Indio High School. What did it take? Perseverance, no tolerance for failure, painful adherence to a scholastic schedule, concentration, and a genuine light hearted attitude where a smile brings recognition of his willingness to hear and learn from what you say.

When you speak with Andrade, it is noticeable he is listening to everything you have to say, you can almost see the wheels in his head spinning, an analysis is going on and in the end, he forms his own conclusions and files your comments for further evaluative reference. These are the traits sought for in scholars and the University of California, Berkley recognized this and as a consequence Andrade received the Gates Millennium Scholarship which covers the attendance cost. Andrade will be on his way to Berkley in August to study Architecture.

It remains to be seen where he will begin his architectural career but he already has a tentative name picked out for his business. J&K, Inc., a vision he has of a joint partnership with a friend. If Andrade could master all the building blocks of the English language in a matter of months, count on the fact he will be able to master the building blocks of architecture in a four year curriculum. The “J” in J&K is a dream just waiting to happen.

Michael Rodriguez born in Indio of Latino parents always had a rich desire to excel, he envisions being a doctor, a biologist, or a psychologist. Rodriguez like Andrade also had a dream and he knew his frame of mind was the prime instrument to achieve it. During the course of four years he has had to focus on his goal and set aside many youthful distractions and challenge himself to understand the elements of calculus, higher mathematics and so many intricate concepts associated with biology, a path he believes will lead towards a medical field career. Rodriguez understands medicine is a wide field encompassing many new, highly technical areas and he is waiting to see how the science of medicine evolves during his years at the University of Redlands to project a specialty. Rodriguez, a resident of Indio Hills has participated with Amnesty International and has a soft place in his heart for indigenous suffering around the world. This very much is a reflection of his desire to be in the field of medicine where he can try his hand at making life a bit easier for those around him. He states, he can see himself as a Pediatrician and perhaps this is already a sign of the image he is forming of himself in his mind which will evolve to become his reality.

Judging from their current success as students, both Jorge and Michael seem to be able to convert their dreams into realities. Photo: Michael Rodriguez, Claudia Suarez, Field Representative for Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack and Jorge Andrade.