A senior at W.T. White High School, Helena Aranda embodies what it means to be a well-rounded student. She wanted to live by the words her mother told her: “You only live once and you can never take it back, so try as much stuff as you want and maybe one day it could become your passion.”
Helena didn’t waste a minute expanding her extracurricular rolodex in high school. She is currently senior class president, vice president of the Dallas ISD Teen School Board, president of HOSA—Future Health Professionals—and junior varsity cheer captain. Helena is also a member of the National Honor Society, Math Honor Society, Health Science NAF Academy, and varsity cheer team.
As the daughter of a single mom with three kids living with their grandmother, she’s never been one to let challenges and life struggles get in the way or define her, “My mother is my number one cheerleader, and I would like to be somebody else’s cheerleader one day and let them know that you can be bigger than those struggles and challenges,” said Helena.
Helena says she’s made her four years in high school worth her while by taking advantage of every opportunity she can. Now, she hopes to follow in her mother’s footsteps someday and become a nurse.
Above all the things Helena has accomplished in her life, there’s one moment that tops the rest. “Making my mom proud is my biggest accomplishment,” she said. “My mother didn’t get the chance to go to college. When I got accepted to UT Austin, we were crying; she said I was doing what she couldn’t do, and I was living out her dreams.”
As a first-generation college student, Helena plans to pursue nursing this fall at her “dream school,” the University of Texas at Austin. A self-proclaimed over-achiever, she says, “Confidence is definitely key in your daily life.”