SAN ANTONIO – Mikayla Molina is described as one of the kindest, most compassionate students at South San Antonio High School.
Her fearlessness and work ethic are reflected in her academic success and she credits her drive to do and be better to a very key figure in her family.
“My grandpa. Before my grandpa had passed, I always wanted to show him everything, all my reports cards all my grades, all my A’s. I just felt like he was proud of me, and he was the one that really kept me focused,” Molina said.
Molina and her little brother had to navigate the challenges of virtual learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. They took on various roles while her parents managed and maintained their jobs.
She said balancing the difficulties of the public health crisis and just being a teenager was not an easy task.
“I had to step up and help him with virtual learning and also in the process my grandma had found out she had cancer, so during the learning I had to also take her and driver her to her appointments while I was in class. It was just very challenging, I did step up, my mom did work at home, but she couldn’t step away because obviously work is very demanding, so I had to take care of my grandma as her healthcare provider and a teacher and parent to my brother,” Molina said.
Molina made sure her priorities were in order despite the circumstances and successfully overcame what many others may have seen as obstacles or roadblocks.
Molina also volunteered more than 350 hours as a member of the National Honor Society.
She will be the first in her family to attend college and has since been accepted to Texas A&M Corpus Christi, where she plans to major in biomedical science.
“My words for Mikayla are this, always be you, don’t ever, ever, ever try to meet someone else’s expectations, be you, be proud of who you are, accept who you are because you’ve made it this far,” Dawn Thomas, English teacher and NHS advisor said.