Ortiz, 13, identified as one of the top seventh graders

Melissa Ash, Jim Wells County Correspondent

The Duke University Talent Identification Program has selected 13-year-old Leandra Ortiz as a qualifier for state recognition for its 2007 seventh-grade academic talent search.

The academic talent search selects students based on their standardized test scores and then invites the candidates to take the ACT or SAT college entrance examination.

Participants are then provided with information regarding their academic abilities and resources for educational opportunities.

Leandra qualified for state recognition and placed in the top 25 percent of the talent search pool.

"This is a significant achievement because the pool itself is highly selective," Premont Junior High counselor Mary G. Soliz said.

"The scores are ones that many high school students aspire to achieve."

Leandra is the daughter of Nora Trevino and Ricardo Ortiz. She has two sisters and two brothers.

Some of the school activities in which Leandra participates include cheerleading, basketball, volleyball, track, band, and she competes in various UIL events. Her favorite subjects include science and keyboarding.

"It didn't matter to me if I got it or not," Ortiz said. "After I graduate from high school, I will probably wait a few months and then apply to the University of Texas so that I can attend law school. I just want to thank my mom because she has been a big influence in my life. She has always put up with me."