LOS LUNAS — One Los Lunas High School student is getting a jump start on her future with recent recognition by a national scholarly organization.
Catalina Garcia, 16, has been recognized by and is now a member of the National Society of High School Scholars, which recognizes top scholars who have demonstrated outstanding leadership, scholarship and community commitment.
Delette Ford, Garcia’s mother, said the society recognizes students who are high achieving, academically.
“They need to have a 3.5 grade point average or higher,” Ford said. “They also look at where students are academically and she is above grade level.”
Due to her academic abilities, Garcia was able to skip the eighth grade and will graduate from LLHS in May.
“I was pretty excited to skip (a grade). It means I’ll be able to graduate with my sister and I’m really excited about that. She’s my best friend,” Garcia said. “I’m really proud to be able to graduate early. It’s definitely something to be happy about for myself.”
The senior has been accepted to New Mexico State University and will begin classes in the fall. Garcia said she would like to study nursing and be a traveling nurse.
Ford said being an NSHSS member will give her daughter access to scholarships throughout her college career.
“It also puts her first in line for certain scholarships and events, and depending on her area of study, internships and travel programs,” she said.
Garcia said the recognition is very helpful to students who want to pursue college, like she does.
“It puts you ahead if you’re going down that road,” she said. “If you put in the time during high school to get the scholarships, it makes life easier down the way.”
Maintaining her GPA was fairly straight forward, Garcia said.
“I know it sounds stupid, but do the work when it’s assigned,” she said. “It’s easy to say, ‘Oh, I’ll do it later,’ and then never do it. It’s a matter of prioritizing your work and staying on top of it.”
NSHSS members automatically become lifetime members of the society at the time of their initial membership. The society connects outstanding young scholars with the resources they need to develop their strengths and pursue their passions.
The society was formed in 2002 by James W. Lewis and Claes Nobel, a member of the family that established the Nobel prizes. The NSHSS has more than 1.7 million members in more than 170 countries. For more information about the society, visit nshss.org.
Julia M. Dendinger began working at the VCNB in 2006. She covers Valencia County government, Belen Consolidated Schools and the village of Bosque Farms. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists Rio Grande chapter’s board of directors.