Saturday, June 6, 2015|2 a.m.
Editor’s note: This is part of a series of stories published this week on Las Vegas elders graduating from high school.
On a normal day in her junior year at Dawn Mountain High School, Luz Diaz-Ontiveros awoke at 5 a.m. to get to the bus visit 6:30, attended her AP and honors classes until 2 p.m., led club meetings until 4 and afterwards hurried off to work at a local McDonald’s up until 10. Then she stayed up till 3 a.m. to work on research.
After her mom got into an accident that left her unable to work and her dad had a tough time discovering a steady task, Diaz-Ontiveros had few alternatives. While the majority of teens were fretted about getting a motorist’s license, Diaz-Ontiveros assisted support her household.
“There were lots of sleepless nights,” Diaz-Ontiveros said.
Today her hard work pays off. Diaz-Ontiveros is set to graduate from Sunup Mountain with a 4.43 GPA and a scholarship from the Ronald McDonald Home Charities. In the fall she will begin school at UNR.
It hasn’t been a simple journey.
Diaz-Ontiveros was born in Paramount, Calif., simply south of L.a, after her father and mothers pertained to the United States from Mexico searching for a more life.
Spending a short time in California and Michigan, they ultimately established a home in Las Vegas, where Diaz-Ontiveros’ papa got a task in building, and her mom began cleaning residences.
Kindergarten was a difficulty. Diaz-Ontiveros’ household spoke just Spanish in the house, so Diaz-Ontiveros didn’t know English.
To learn, she filled Saturday and Sunday mornings with cartoons, letting programs such as the “Backyardigans,” “The Relatively OddParents” and “Dora the Explorer” fill in the spaces of her expertise. By second grade she was totally comfortable with the language.
Still, when it came time for research in the evenings, though her dad and moms might assist her with math problems, language arts was a various story.
“I realized that I had to understand things at school or I wouldn’t have anyone to aid me in the house,” Diaz-Ontiveros stated.
So while other students were doodling, Diaz-Ontiveros had a laser concentrate on what was being taught, making certain she understood exactly what the instructor was attempting to state. It’sed a good idea off: Throughout elementary and intermediate school she got excellent grades, joined the student council, started tutoring her peers and pleased her teachers.
At Sunup Mountain she ended up being president of the National Honor Society and DECA, a club for wannabe entrepreneurs. She also had a management role in the Spanish Formality Society and volunteered at Three Square, Valley Health center, as a camp therapist at the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s summer camp, and went back to her intermediate school to help out.
The included dedication of working part-time came her junior year when a car accident Diaz-Ontiveros’ junior year left her mom with 2 damaged disks in her back and a torn ligament in her shoulder. Her mom informed Diaz-Ontiveros she did not have to work– that the family would figure something out. However Diaz-Ontiveros wanted to contribute.
“I could see the expenses can be found in and accumulating,” she said.
She began getting jobs right after her 16th birthday in April. By the end of May, she had actually been hired to work at McDonald’s as a cashier.
During the summer season Diaz-Ontivero worked nearly full-time; throughout her junior year worked 25-35 hours a week. Though she had little time to relax or see buddies, Diaz-Ontivero focused on her researches and kept her grades up.
Today at a senior awards night Diaz-Ontivero got the majority of the awards– in language arts, the school’s Profession and Technical Program and the Principal’s Award.
She plans to study biology and business at UNR. And after that? She wishes to become the surgeon who does her mommy’s next treatment.
“I prepare to see what life holds for me,” she said.