SAN ANTONIO – The class of 2020 is graduating in the face of unique challenges this year and in our Great Graduates series we feature outstanding graduates from across the city.
Jewel Medel is the valedictorian at the Young Women’s Leadership Academy.
Medel is in the National Honor Society, the Young Poet’ Society, volleyball, basketball and track and field and she’s received a full scholarship to Brown University.
"I’m going to be the first college graduate in my family,” Medel said. “I want to really be a role model for my younger sister. It’s just us two and my mom. I want her to know if I can do it, she can do it.”
Michelle Grajeda is an AP and dual credit instructor at SAISD’s Young Women’s Leadership Academy. Grajeda has been Medel’s instructor for four different courses over the past 4 years and also heads the Young Poet’s society. Grajeda said Medel goes beyond just earning a good grade.
“Since the moment I started interacting with her in my classroom, I could see her great insight, even at a young age and her ability to analyze complex texts and apply them to the world around her,” Grajeda said.
“It (the Young Poet’s Society) has given me so much more confidence in being able to speak my mind, being able to write down and perform the poetry that I’ve kept in my little journal for the past six, seven years,” Medel said.
Medel plans to major in neuroscience and the literary arts at Brown University.
She said she might go to medical school or get her PHD, but her dream is to be a scientific researcher.