Nestor Jurado grew up with a love for competitive sports and a dream of playing professional soccer, spending as much time as he could on the playing field. However, his ambitious goal of playing eight sports in two years was sidelined during his sophomore year at California High School, when he had surgery for a knee injury he suffered playing soccer a few years earlier.
Devastated over the setback and faced with a long rehabilitation period, Jurado in summer 2016 enrolled at Sierra Vista High School, Whittier Union High School District’s independent study program.
Determined to direct his boundless energy toward academics and graduate a year early, Jurado hit the ground running, completing his credits, studying hard and taking on new classes as quickly as possible. He is poised to graduate in June with a 3.5 GPA.
Jurado’s irresistible spirit and dedication to his studies were recognized on April 11, when the WUHSD Board of Trustees presented him with an Award of Merit.
“What I admire most about Nestor is his genuinely kind heart,” Sierra Vista Director Nicki Buchholz said. “Nestor has the ability to bring people together with his charismatic personality. His success will be a source of pride for us for years to come, and we are pleased and proud to have supported him in his journey.”
While at Sierra Vista, Jurado has taken advantage of the learning community’s smaller class sizes and the one-on-one academic approach employed at the alternative high school, where schoolmates and teachers quickly embraced his positive attitude and perpetual smile.
Not only did he excel in academics, Jurado joined the Associated Student Body, adjusting to his new role as a campus leader and helping to plan school events.
“I got involved with students and teachers and it changed me in a good way,” Jurado said. “Sierra Vista High has treated me well and helped me a lot. The love and care they’ve shown has changed my life.”
Jurado spends much of his free time working out at the gym and hopes to become a physical therapist and work with athletes. Jurado will begin his post-secondary education at Rio Hondo College in the fall.