Reilly Colon and Alex Jaquez-Peralta are two Esperanza Academy High School seniors who have recently received a huge honor from College Board, a non-profit that conducts academic research and connects students with universities through testing support. They received the National Hispanic Recognition Award, an award that honors supreme academic achievement. College Board says, “Students who may be eligible have a GPA of 3.5 or higher and have excelled on the PSAT/NMSQT or PSAT 10, or earned a score of 3 or higher on two or more AP Exams; and are African American or Black, Hispanic American or Latinx, Indigenous, and/or attend school in a rural area or small town.”
Both Colon and Jaquez-Peralta have each been enrolled in a total of 10 AP tests through their time at Esperanza Academy. AP classes challenge students to excel and also give them a launchpad into university level work. Since they have passed each of their AP class tests, they are eligible to use each of those classes towards college credit, an incredible way to jumpstart their college career.
“Reilly and Alex’s achievement is especially impressive, given that every student in the world who takes an AP test, takes the same rigorous exam at the end of the year. The fact that they have been able to be so successful on college-level work at this age is testament to how far they will go in their futures,” said Lori Walinsky, Esperanza Academy Director of Student Success.
College Board says, “These National Recognition Programs grant underrepresented students with academic honors that can be included on college and scholarship applications and connect students with universities across the country, helping them meaningfully connect to colleges and stand out during the admissions process.”
Jaquez-Peralta mentioned his desire to pursue computer science in college. He has his sights set on Carnegie Mellon University or MIT, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and he recently applied for the extremely selective Gates scholarship, where he was able to list his recently received award to enrich his application and show further proof of his academic excellence.
Colon is hoping to join the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, and pursue a degree in the advanced field of nuclear engineering. He would love to work on submarines. He will also share recognition of his award on college applications.
“They are two very talented young men,” said Mr. Roberts, Esperanza Academy High School’s Engineering and Physics Teacher. He is the overseeing teacher of both students’ AP independent studies. Colon is taking AP Computer Science Principles while Jaquez-Peralta is studying alongside for the AP Java class.
Tarlin Ray, College Board senior vice president of BigFuture, says “We hope the award winners and their families celebrate this prestigious honor and it helps them plan for their big future.”
To learn more about the award, check out College Board National Recognition Programs.