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EPISD Senior Spotlight: Sergio Borunda, El Paso High

Sergio Borunda

(EL PASO HIGH SCHOOL -- Sept. 17, 2020) — The next featured student in EPISD’s Senior Spotlight is El Paso High’s Sergio Borunda, one of the District’s five National Merit Semifinalist. He balances his academic endeavors with some spikeball and hopes to attend Harvard University, his dream school, in the fall to study biochemistry or neuroscience. Community Engagement visited with him virtually for a take on his senior year and being named one of only six National Merit Semifinalists in the county.


COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT: What does it mean to you to be named a National Merit Semifinalist?

SERGIO BORUNDA: To me, being named a semifinalist means that my hard work was worth it. I worked hard through high school and now I can finally see some of that labor coming to fruition and helping me with college and my future in general.


CE: What kind of advice would you give juniors who will be taking the PSAT this fall?

SB: Study as many practice tests in the time leading up to the PSAT but remember to take a break the week before the test to refresh your mind.


CE: How have you adapted to virtual learning?

SB: The biggest change I’ve noticed personally is my organization. I’ve started setting reminders for all my classes and assignments, which means I’m actually more aware of when things are do now compared to before virtual learning.


CE: What are your hopes for your senior year?

SB: I hope that everyone is careful. If they are, we can hopefully go back to normal second semester and participate in all the activities I was looking forward to senior year.


CE: What are your honors and achievements in high school?

SB: I think the achievement I’m most proud of is going to state for Academic Decathlon. It was the culmination of a year’s worth of work and placing first at regionals was definitely one of the highlights of my high school career.


CE: What extracurricular activities are you involved in?

SB: Currently, I am in Academic Decathlon, HighQ, Spikeball Club and Senior Class officer. Also, I recently started tutoring online as part of STEP, which is a free online tutoring service that two students from Coronado founded.


CE: What advice would you give incoming freshman?

SB: I know this is rich coming from me but, as important as grades and test scores are, remember to just have fun. Relax and enjoy the times you have with your friends because that’s what you’ll remember when you look back on high school.


CE: What have you been doing outside of academics to get through the pandemic?

SB: Like many people, I’ve just been picking up hobbies left and right. I’ve read plenty of books, started hiking, and even started learning how to cook.

CE: What is the first thing you plan to do when the pandemic is over?

SB: Honestly, I can’t wait to see my friends. We’ve all been close since elementary school and not being able to see them in person and hang out like we used to do is difficult.


CE: Anything you’d like to add?

SB: I just want to give a special thanks to my friends. Ever since we were in elementary school, we would compete at anything and everything. That friendly competition is the reason I always fought for academic success, and this would have been impossible without them.


Interview by Reneé de Santos