For as long as Adamson High School senior Elias Calixto can remember, education has always been his main focus in life. While some students prioritized friends or other interests, Calixto prioritized textbooks.
“My parents came to this country with nothing but the clothes on their backs,” Calixto said. “My mom knows from experience the importance of education, she taught me the value and power a textbook can have.”
Calixto is a first-generation high school graduate and valedictorian of his class at Adamson High School. Ever since he received a ranking of number one during his sophomore year, Calixto realized that the sacrifices his mother made to ensure he and his sister received opportunities she never had were a big stepping stone to his accomplishments.
“Being the valedictorian for my class, I’ve been able to reiterate my gratitude for the countless sacrifices my mom has made,” Calixto said. “As for many immigrant parents, they just want to give their kids something more.”
Although this graduation experience wasn’t exactly what he had envisioned, Calixto credits his family for helping him realize that his hard work has already paid off with a full-ride offer to the University of Texas at Austin.
“At the end of the day, we are just happy to make our parents proud and hope to give them the life they deserve when we get older,” he said.
Calixto plans to pursue a career in nursing this fall and says witnessing so many people choosing to risk their lives every day to help others during the pandemic has inspired him more than ever to follow his calling as a nurse.
“If there was ever an opportunity to put myself on the front lines, I would,” he said.