MESQUITE, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Mesquite ISD held a special luncheon Thursday to celebrate their highest graduating achievers. Among them is a young lady whose unique distinction has earned her a full ride to college.
It’s a record-setting achievement at Mesquite ISD. Four valedictorians from the same family.
Abigail Bautista and her three older siblings all attended North Mesquite High School and were all named, valedictorian.
“My brother was being announced as valedictorian and he was like, “No pressure, little sis.’ And I was, ‘ooh, singling me out! Yikes!'” said Bautista.
Eighteen-year-old Abigail has a 3.98 grade point average and is the family’s newest valedictorian. She’s the fourth of five kids in the family — originally from the Philippines.
“America has so many opportunities we couldn’t dream about in our little hometown,” said Bautista.
Her mother says the family faced financial and health struggles.
“We had a lot of difficulties when we came here because my husband had a brain tumor at that time, so he was being operated on,” said Imelda Bautista.
The hardships inspired the four older children, who came to the U.S. in 2007, to succeed.
“There are people back home who are struggling who we have to help out,” said Abigail.
She gives credit to her teacher, parents and siblings, but admits the formula for success is found within.
“It’s not necessarily the grades you get or the amount of study, but the motivation to want to learn and to really be engaged in what you’re doing, is I think, really the key to become valedictorian,” said Abigail.
Her youngest brother is currently a freshman at North Mesquite. But here mom’s not worried.
“We always tell him, ‘are you pressured?’ But he’s the most intelligent among them all!” said Imelda.
Abigail has a full ride to college and the support of parents who always knew she could do it.
“I’m so proud. Even though we don’t have that much money, my kids are smart, respectful, and they give the most of themselves. So I’m proud of them,” said Imelda.
Abigail plans to study English literature and educational studies. Her goal is to become an educator and inspire students in the classroom.