OGHS senior is ranked second in his class

Mauricio Julian Cuellar Jr., Alice Echo-News Journal

ORANGE GROVE - An Orange Grove High School senior was selected as a Border Patrol Regional Student of the Month by the Freer station.

Joshua Lopez, the son of Rick and Mari Lopez, is currently ranked second in his class and has a 102.22 grade point average. Senior Border Patrol Agent Marisol Cantu, of the Freer office, presented the award plaque.

Lopez was also honored with a certificate from the Texas House of Representatives by Christine Neal with State Rep. Yvonne Gonzalez-Toureilles' office. Toureilles was unable to attend the event because of the current legislative session in Austin.

The Laredo Sector Border Patrol Freer Station has sought to recognize those senior high school students who have excelled academically, as well as in extracurricular activities, and who have demonstrated a desire to improve their community and have committed themselves to staying off drugs.

Lopez was selected from among other seniors from Ben Bolt, Alice, Orange Grove, George West, Hebbronville, Benavides and Premont high schools.

OGHS counselor Sandy Gallimore nominated Lopez.

Supervisory Border Patrol Agent William Roeske said Lopez's accomplishments were once again a testament to the hard working teachers and students at OGHS.

"It's our honor to bring to light the accomplishments of these exceptional students. Orange Grove students are consistently at the top of our list of applicants every month.…all of you should be proud to attend this school," Roeske said.

In his application essay to the Border Patrol, Lopez described himself as good-hearted, reasonable, different, humorous, innovative and bright.

"My role models are my family and friends. They are the ones who have guided me through my life and they have helped set the path that I have chosen for my future. Without them, I would not be the person I am today," Lopez said.

Gallimore said in her letter that Joshua is an all-around good student that others look up to. Joshua is always willing to lend a helping hand if you need him; he is very dependable, she said.

Lopez participates in band, basketball, FCCLA, FCA, National Honor Roll, National Honors Society, Spanish Club and Tech Club. He is the secretary of the Academic Club and vice-president of Mu Alpha Theta.

He is a competitor in UIL Science and UIL Computer Science and received the USAA National Science Merit Award Winner, USAA National Mathematics Award Winner, USAA National Leadership and Service Award Winner and is a Who's Who Among American High School Students.

Lopez also feels it is important to make time for volunteer efforts, such as helping to distribute groceries for the Lutheran Church, being a judge for the kindergarten science fair competition, a clock keeper and concession stand worker for the Orange Grove Youth Basketball League and a volunteer for the Bulldog Backers Baseball Concession Stand.

During his speech, Lopez had words of thanks for those who matter most in his life - his teachers, his friends and his family.

"My family has taught me to strive to be the best I can be and has taught me the difference between right and wrong. The have been with me through thick and thin and have provided for me the best they can," Lopez said of his parents.

"My teachers have given me knowledge that I will greatly need in the future. They have pushed me to further my education and chose not to let me take the easy road. When the topic of college came, my teachers were always ready to help me any way they could for me to go to the place I wanted as long as my will was strong enough. My friends, or my second family, you have been there for me as well when I needed you," Lopez said.

In the end, he said they all helped to set goals and challenges for him, throughout his life and helped him achieve them.

"Each of those groups, whether they knew it or not, have challenged me, pushed me, encouraged me and changed me in different aspects of my life," Lopez said.