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EPISD Senior Spotlight: Bryan Perez, Jefferson High

Bryan Perez

(AUSTIN HIGH SCHOOL -- Sept. 1, 2020) — The EPISD Senior Spotlight features members of the Class of 2021 who are beginning their school year virtually but full of hope and excitement. While the start of their senior year is now that they had envisioned, they still have tons to look forward. 

Today we feature Austin High’s senior class president Irma Guzman. The StuCo historian channeled her inner Picasso, discovering a love for painting during COVID-related isolation and also kept active honing her volleyball skills. Irma hopes to attend the University of Texas at Austin or Texas Christian University to study athletic training and minor in journalism – a passion sparked by her role as editor-in-chief on the yearbook staff.

EPISD’s Office of Community Engagement visited with her virtually to get a glimpse into her quarantine life and plans for her senior year.

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT: What are you doing to make the best of your senior year? 

IRMA GUZMAN: To me, it is still very shocking to think that how I pictured my senior year is not how I would be experiencing it. But in a positive way, I feel like it made our generation appreciate the little things in life a lot more. I would like for my senior class to still have the feeling of normal even though we have the unexpected realities that we will face together. I want to make the best of this year by enjoying the little things. Your senior year goes fast. Soak up every moment.


CE: What are your hopes for the upcoming school year? 

IG: I hope that one day we will be able to go back to school and just have a regular school day where we don't have to wear masks. Last but not least I hope that construction at my school will be over by the time we get to go back. I would like to experience the new additions that are being added to Austin historical buildings from the 2016 Bond.


CE: How are you staying connected with your classmates? 

IG: I have been doing a lot of Zoom and Facetime calls to keep up with my friends. I have also reached out to my teammates as well as my friends to make sure they are doing well mentally and physically. I have made a couple of group chats to make sure that my friends are staying up to date with each other.


CE: How has virtual learning changed the way you study? 

IG: I don't think that virtual learning has changed the way that I learn but it did change how I motivated myself to keep pushing. The one thing that I did notice was that I lost motivation because I feed off of my peers at school. I also started to see that I was not the only person who felt like this. I felt like a completely different person because I did not want to do anything. I tried to pinpoint why I felt like this, so I reached out to some of my classmates and we made a group chat. This group chat was made to help kids who were not feeling motivated. It really helped because we were able to voice to feel how we were all feeling.


CE: What are you doing to prepare for the upcoming school year? 

IG: I have been doing a lot of research on how to apply for college, so I am ready to submit my applications for early admission. I have also been setting goals for this school year including graduate in the top 2 percent, get a 4.0 GPA and to get accepted into UT Austin. I have also been checking up with my counselors to keep up to date with any new information that the District has released.


CE: What is your advice to freshman?

IG: You will not always have the same group of friends you started high school with. Friend groups change and that’s okay because you will meet people that have the same goals and aspirations as you do. Surround yourself with people who are just as dedicated as you because you’ll find motivation in yourself to keep pushing for whatever goal you hope to accomplish.


CE: What is your go to pandemic song? 

IG: I really don’t have a go to pandemic song but one thing that I can say is that my go to era of music has to be the 70’s. If I had to pick one song from the 70’s it would have to be “Come and Get Your Love” by Redbone. There is just something about this song that puts me in a good mood every time I hear it, especially during this time when we are in the need of some paw-sitivity.

Interview by Reneé de Santos