HERNANDEZ_JOCELYNThrough high expectations of herself and a strong sense of self determination, senior Jocelyn Hernandez earned the number one rank of the Class of 2016.

“It was exciting; everything I did kind of paid off,” Hernandez said. “It surprised me because I was seventh at the beginning of the year, so I didn’t think I jumped that much in class ranking.”

Although discovering her top rank in the class surprised Hernandez, from a young age, she knew she would receive straight A’s throughout the entirety of her high school career.

“Getting straight A’s has been a norm for me,” Hernandez said. “I don’t expect anything different.”

Taking seven college classes senior year helped her ranking soar. These college courses also taught Hernandez things she claims she could not have learned in a high school classroom.

“Taking classes at Valencia has better prepared me for college life and made me more independent,” Hernandez said.

As a full-time Valencia student, besides graduating high school at the top of her class, Hernandez will also graduate with an Associate of Arts degree. This gives her the opportunity to begin taking classes relating to her major as soon as she graduates high school.

Besides being an honors student, Hernandez participated in BARC freshman year and girls’ weightlifting sophomore year. At Valencia she was invloved in the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation. This program exists in hopes of doubling the amount of ethnic students entering STEM related majors.

“It opened my eyes to the professional world, like life outside of school and academics,” Hernandez said.

This helped spark her interest in engineering and pursuing that once she graduates.

Hernandez plans to attend the University of Florida in the fall and major in Chemical Engineering. Taking Chemistry Honors with Patricia Sayers O’Neill her sophomore year inspired her to major in a field relating to that class.

By Natalie Disla

I am the Editor-In-Chief of Hilights. I love traveling to different countries and states, but my favorite place to visit is New York. Beyoncé is my inner diva.

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