Two Class Of 2019 Seniors Receive Dorrance Scholarship

By Jacquelyn Gutierrez

Hector Gamez & Yazmin Almazan

Two very talented and deserving Class of 2019 seniors found out on April 27 that they were the recipients of the prestigious Dorrance Scholarship.

Yazmín Almazán and Héctor Gámez were chosen among hundreds of applications. Only 12 students are selected per in-state university (the University of Arizona; Arizona State University; and Northern Arizona University).

Almazán said, “I had my interview on a Friday; the very next day, I was notified. I was very excited to learn this because there was a lot of competition—unfortunately even from some of my close friends at Pueblo. For a few years, no students from Pueblo were awarded the Dorrance scholarship, and to be one of two students from Pueblo to receive the award this year makes this reception even more exciting.”

Gámez said, “I found out that I received the Dorrance scholarship while I was doing yardwork with my father. I was so excited that I screamed, and I scared my mother.”

Both students plan to attend the University of Arizona following graduation.

Almazán will be studying molecular and cellular biology, and she plans to pursue a minor physiology.

“I’ve been extremely interested in this field for several years due to my experience in biotechnology with Dr. Andrew Lettes in my sophomore year,” Almazán said. “I also want to credit Mr. Bill Richards, my honors biology teacher during my freshman year. He persuaded me to enroll in Dr. Lettes’ class, and I’m so glad that I did because of all of the new knowledge that I would be introduced to—as well as all of the opportunities Dr. Lettes encouraged me to take advantage of.”

Over the past few years, Almazán has fervidly been involved with summer workshops and internships at the University of Arizona regarding biomedical research.

“This collegiate experience really inspired to further my aspirations into research and medicine,” Almazán said.

As for Gamez… This is his second year at Pueblo. Prior to that, he lived in Sonora, Mexico, and knew very little English prior to coming to Tucson. This year, as a senior, he is enrolled in four advanced placement classes, included AP English. Following graduation, Gamez plans to pursue a career in neuroscience—specifically to become an orthopedic surgeon.

“A lot of family members have bad backs, and I think this inspired to pursue orthopedics—because I might be able to help them,” Gamez said.

“I knew nobody when I came to Pueblo, and there was already the language barrier to overcome,” Gamez said. “Receiving this scholarship is an affirmation of all of the hard work it took to acclimate to Pueblo and to life in the United States.”

Both Almazan and Gamez are eligible to participate in the Dorrance Study Abroad Program, which lasts for one semester—an experience that introduces students to different cultures, both in theory (academically) and in practice (the study abroad experience itself)—which contributes to global citizenship.

Art Students Awarded Scholarships

The Southern Arizona Watercolor Guild’s Annual Art Scholarship Competition awards scholarships to high school seniors who:
1) will attend college in the fall of 2019, and
2) plan to pursue a career in art, art education, or an art related-field.

Pueblo students submitted artworks and were judged on the following criteria: sense of design, composition, and technical skill, originality, handling of materials, presentation and visual expression/impact.

Congratulation to Class of 2019 Seniors Alejandra Flores & Rohan Ather for winning $500 Merit Scholarships! Here they are posing next to their winning art piece.

Alejandra Flores
Rohan Ather

Warriors Attend Drama Festival

By Emilio Grijalva and Aliah Luna

Pueblo Players attend Drama Festival

Pueblo’s advanced theatre students participated in the Southern Arizona Festival of Theatre at the University of Arizona on January 24, to compete against other drama programs in Tucson area high schools.

Senior Andrea Martinez won three superior ratings, qualifying her for state in Phoenix. She performed monologues from Jake’s Women by Neil Simon and The Scottish Play by William Shakespeare.

Martinez said, “It was an overwhelming experience! I got to spend this moment with people who have the same passion as me. This experience taught me a lot about myself.”

Ms. Sarah Sutton, Pueblo’s drama teacher, said, “I knew during rehearsals that Andrea Martinez was doing really well. I was and am very proud of her.”

Pueblo’s drama students who attended the festival performed solo monologues, small group plays; musicals, and duets.

Sutton began preparing her students after winter break, which involved daily practices to be competitive by late January. Her students selected their own material that they wanted to perform.

Senior Santos Barbosa said, “Everyone there tried their very best and had lots of fun.” Barbosa said that he performed a duet from the play/movie, The Producers called “We Can Do It” with his drama class peer, Gilbert Becerra, a junior.

Sutton said, “I’m hoping that we continue this tradition each year. I’m confident that this year’s beginning students will eventually be in competition with other drama students across Southern Arizona.”

Pueblo Student Named U of A Honors College Baird Scholar

Salma Reyes-Flores

For Salma Reyes-Flores, the dream of becoming a pediatrician just got a little closer. Reyes-Flores, a Class of 2014 Senior at Pueblo Magnet High School, is one of only 10 students in the state to be named a Baird Scholar and to receive a four-year scholarship to the University of Arizona’s Honors College.

The scholarship is for $10,000 each year and is renewable for four years. To earn the scholarship, Reyes-Flores wrote essays, provided letters of recommendation and met ACT score and sustained a top-notch GPA. That last one hasn’t always been easy.

Reyes-Flores is close to her father. He’s a big support for her, and he goes away for long periods to work in the fishing ship industry.
“It’s hard when he’s gone,” Reyes-Flores said. “I don’t feel like I can do much.”

Family is important to the soft-spoken senior. She has two older brothers who attend the University of Arizona, and she knew that was the school for her, too. She wants to be close to home.

While Reyes-Flores hasn’t yet identified her undergrad major, she knows it will in the sciences. She said the science instructors at Pueblo have inspired her.

“I wasn’t really into science before high school. When I came here, I really got into it,” she said.

Reyes-Flores said she didn’t realize the scholarship was possible until Ruben Romero, Pueblo’s college and career coordinator, told her about it.

Romero said one of the remarkable things about Reyes-Flores is what she has achieved at her age. At 16, she is younger than her peers, yet she performs at a high level.

“She has always been focused. She’s quiet, but confidently quiet,” he said. “She has always been at the top of her class.”

Courtesy of

Pueblo Students Chosen For Ivy League Experience

Cecilia Machado, Jose Toro & Ashley Parra

Three Pueblo Magnet High School Class of 2015 Juniors have been accepted into the Arizona Ivy League Project, a two-year program that develops students’ leadership and academic skills, takes them on a tour of the East Coast and prepares them to apply for and attend Ivy League institutions.

Ashley Parra, Jose Toro and Cecilia Machado were chosen from a field of 50 applicants and are the only students from Tucson accepted this year. They will attend leadership classes in Phoenix during their first year in the program and will visit eight Ivy League campuses during the trip to the East Coast in the spring. In their senior year, they will attend classes that help them apply to the universities.

All three students are excited about the trip. For Parra and Machado, it will be their first time on an airplane and their first time leaving Arizona.

“I’m most excited about seeing the campuses, the variety there,” Parra said. “I’m excited about meeting the admissions officers. It’s like a golden ticket.”

The Arizona Ivy League Project is open to sophomores and juniors who come from an economically disadvantaged background and have at least a 3.75 grade average. The application process includes providing teacher recommendations, writing three essays and undergoing an interview with an admissions panel.

The students said hard work and focus have been essential to reaching their goals, and that hasn’t always been easy. Managing their time can be a challenge.

“I have to study. I don’t get to be that teenager, but I’m making myself a better opportunity,” Machado said.

Toro has had similar experiences. “It’s kind of a struggle to keep up our grades, studying for hours upon hours at night,” he said.

All three Ivy League Project winners said teachers at Pueblo have helped and inspired them. “Coming into high school is intimidating,” Toro said. “My teachers motivated me to do my best, even when I didn’t think I could.”

The Pueblo students will be holding fundraisers to cover the cost of the East Coast trip, where they will tour eight campuses and meet with admissions and other personnel. They can also accept tax-credit donations. See our tax credit webpages to learn more about making a donation.

About the winners:

Jose Toro
Career plans: Doctor of chiropractic
Dream school: Harvard because of its reputation, but open to all
Quote: “In the interview, they asked who our role models are. I said the Pope.”

Ashley Parra
Career plans: Veterinarian (heavy on research)
Dream school: Looking for one that fits her
Quote: “My dad is really proud. I’m a first-generation college student.”

Cecilia Machado
Career plans: Pediatrician
Dream school: Looking at Yale or Georgetown
Quote: “Everyone wants to go along on the trip. They want to go in my suitcase.”

Courtesy of

Audrey Diaz Named To FEA Honor Society

Audrey Diaz, sophomore at Pueblo Magnet High School, has been named to the Future Educators Association’s 2012-13 Honor Society . She is the first Pueblo student to be named to the this national organization’s Honor Society.

Audrey Diaz named to Future Educators Association Honor Society.

Audrey is in the Education Professions class and participates in work-based learning at Hollinger Elementary School.  For more information see the F.E.A. website.

Congratulations to Audrey on this award and for representing Pueblo at the national level.