Latina Holy Cross High School senior hopes to break down barriers, become female pilot

Danica Gonzalez overcame death of her father, graduates with potential

SAN ANTONIO – High school started off rough for one senior at Holy Cross, but thanks to her family and the support of her school community she was able to graduate on a high note and now has big plans for herself.

“It’s very, very hard because he doesn’t get to be at my graduation,” Danica Gonzalez, Holy Cross High School senior said.

Gonzalez lost her father to COVID-19 her freshman year of high school. She said not only was she navigating how to handle high school and online pandemic education, but losing her father, who she calls her best friend was devastating.

“My mom helped me through a lot,” Gonzalez said. “It was very, very hard for me.”

Gonzalez said she would lock herself in her room for hours and cry, but her mother helped her heal.

“I didn’t want to talk to anyone,” Gonzalez said. “Like I shouldn’t be by myself. But she was there. She was like my my rock to lean on.”

With the support of her family and the Holy Cross community, Gonzalez began to thrive.

She tried out for the golf team, inspired by her father, who was an avid golfer.

Post-pandemic, her family started to travel again, taking her father’s picture with them so he can be part of their adventures.

“My mom works for American and my brother works for Delta,” Gonzalez said. “So we fly across the world every summer and like for Thanksgiving, Christmas.”

Seeing her family work in the airline industry, she wants to do the same, but as a pilot, breaking down barriers as a Latina female pilot.

“It’s cool to see other girls that are pilots flying a plane, and it doesn’t have to be a guy,” Gonzalez said. “It doesn’t have to be, an older man. It could be an older woman. It could be a young girl.”

At heart, Gonzalez is a family-first girl. Even when she is successful, she said her dream is to be able to support her mother, because it was her mother who supported her during her hardest time.

“I hope I see myself here with the house, with, helping my mom financially if she ever need something.”

About the Author

Sarah Acosta is a weekend Good Morning San Antonio anchor and a general assignments reporter at KSAT12. She joined the news team in April 2018 as a morning reporter for GMSA and is a native South Texan.

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