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Meet the Class of 2018: A Passion for Science AND Social Justice

March 22, 2018
By Sally Winter
STRIVE Prep SMART senior
March 22, 2018

Brayan Parga
STRIVE Prep – SMART 

Brayan has big plans for himself. As a current Daniels Fund Scholarship Program finalist, he hasn’t decided which school he will attend, he is between several out of state options and Colorado State University. As of right now, he’s looking to pursue a major that will help him go the pre-med route. He’s interested in surgery after completing an internship focused on it, but is excited to explore different options in the medical field during his undergrad. In addition to a love for science, Brayan also has a strong heart for social justice and he’s excited that the connections he made at STRIVE Prep helped him find a future where he can explore both passions. He answered questions about how STRIVE Prep’s core beliefs guided him through his high school career and into a thriving future.

JUSTICE

What relationships has STRIVE Prep brought you that have changed your life?

I think the teachers who have stayed at STRIVE Prep a long time, like Mr. Weir, he encourages us to think outside the box and do incredible things. Mr. Mack, I’ve only had him for one class but he’s so passionate in terms of what he does, he helped me realize that despite any struggles I have in life I can still accomplish great things.

Outside of the classroom, what have your peers and your school community taught you?

I consider my classmates family because we’ve been through so much together. I’ve seen a lot of them who started out as people who would not have believed in themselves to speak in meetings and use their voice and now they are doing great things. I love seeing them grow as people. My freshmen year I was an introvert too, but I haven’t let it stop me from using my voice.

Where do you see yourself in the context of modern social issues?

I’m a strong advocate for people who want to express their opinions. It’s so important to get your voice out there and work for justice. Some of my classmates, like Mateo and Alanis are very social justice oriented and I consider them an inspiration, they encourage my peers and me to step up and be heard.

ACHIEVEMENT

What classes have challenged you most at STRIVE Prep?

AP Calculus is definitely the hardest class I’ve ever taken. I also love history and passed the test for AP US History. By the time I graduate I will have taken eight AP classes, last year I took four and passed all of them.

How do you feel prepared to take on what’s next in life?

I’ll continue to take inspiration from the teachers and classmates I’ve built strong relationships with. The community I have with them has shown me that you can always find light in any situation and there are always people who share your passions and inspire you to make a difference. I get the feeling that if I had gone to any other school I wouldn’t have been able to find these relationships and friendships that have helped me shine through.

PERSEVERANCE

How do you approach taking risks and rising to challenges?

When facing a risk or challenge I like to think about the process. I usually try to get into the mindset that life is short, and I should do as much as I can. I think that when I’m older, I don’t want to have any regrets and I always want to know I challenged myself and tried my hardest in every single thing I did.

Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?

I plan to be training in a hospital as an intern and increasing in the ranks of working in medicine. I want to also continue my busy schedule. I love science AND social justice and I want to have impactful experiences that scare me and always find time to devote to what I’m passionate about. I know that as long as I’m doing what I love I won’t be restricting myself.

What advice do you have for the younger STRIVE Prep students?

Never let anything limit you – you can always reach for the stars, it doesn’t matter where you come from or where you are in life, never give up.

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