• David Granadoz

    David Granadoz   

    PSJA T. Jefferson T-STEM Early College High School Class of 2023

    Plans to Attend: University of Texas Rio Grande Valley


    ⏺ AP Scholar
    ⏺ National Merit Scholarship Semifinalist

    Tell us your story! What hardships or challenges have you overcome to get to where you are today?

    As far as academics go, I’ve always found that it comes relatively easy to me. Of course I still need to listen to my lectures, take notes, and just apply all around whenever I take a course, but I have noticed that I tend to have an easier time in my studies compared to some of my other classmates, who put in just as much work as I do. However, the areas that I always used to struggle with were outside of the classroom. Up until a year or two ago, I would never have classified myself as a confident person. I mostly kept to myself and didn’t do much outside my comfort zone. The only extracurricular I participated in all the way up until my sophomore year that couldn’t be classified as an “academic activity” was band, where I was content to always play second fiddle to better musicians. However, this all changed when I joined PSJA T. Jefferson’s Titan Theater program.

    After my Speech teacher and soon-to-be theater director, Ms. De La Rosa saw a speech I delivered as a project for her class she suggested I try out acting in their upcoming J.V. One Act Play. If I’m being honest, I still don’t know exactly what she saw in me that day, but whatever it was, it gave me the confidence to try something new. I went into acting expecting to grasp it with the same relative ease I experienced in my studies. I could not have been more wrong. To put it bluntly, I was terrible when I started out. I went home most days after rehearsals wondering if I was going to have to drop out and ask my director to find a replacement. Despite this, I stuck with it and performed in my very first play at the end of my sophomore year, which gave me a feeling of satisfaction so great I still remember it to this day. To some degree, I’ve gone through this cycle of battling and overcoming the feeling of inadequacy in every subsequent play I was a part of, but every time it got just a little bit easier. With every show, I found myself feeling more and more confident in myself. This boost in confidence is what eventually led me to run for officer positions in Robotics the following year and take on more of a leadership role in my Jazz band’s trumpet section. Because of this, I now stand here today as a jazz trumpet section leader, an actor, and the Captain of my high school’s FRC robotics team. With this newfound experience in leadership and confidence in my ability to overcome the challenges I’m faced with, I’ve set my eyes on finishing college at UTRGV.

    How have the opportunities offered at PSJA ISD, including the PSJA Early College Program, impacted your life?

    I could go on at length about basically any of the opportunities that PSJA ISD has presented me with, from the teachers and staff who were always willing to work with me to the variety of advanced courses such as AP and Dual enrollment classes that have helped me get ahead in my education. However, I would say that the most impactful opportunity PSJA has presented me with is the wealth of extracurriculars their schools provide that have helped mold me into the person I am today. As I mentioned in my earlier answer about my story, I joined theater at the tail end of my sophomore year of high school and it dramatically changed my life for the better. As an actor, I’ve learned so many different things, like presentation skills, how to deal with performance anxiety, and even how to fight a sword. But above all else, I learned how to have confidence in myself, which has bled over into all aspects of my life.

    Theatre isn’t the only extracurricular that has had an impact on my life, however. The band, which I’ve been a member of since I was in the sixth grade, has always served as a sort of creative constant for me. At this point, I’ve been playing the trumpet for almost seven years now, and it’s taught me the value of consistency. I’ve never been the type to do an exorbitant amount, but simply showing up every day and giving it my all in the classroom has been more than enough to turn me into a competent musician. Being a part of T-STEM’s Mechatitans, our school’s FRC team, has taught me much more than how to work with my hands and think like an engineer; it’s given me the opportunity to step into a place of leadership and accept the responsibility that comes with it. As our team’s Captain, I need to take responsibility for not only the team’s organization but also its shortcomings. If there’s something going wrong, it’s my responsibility to address it. The extracurriculars offered by PSJA are much more than opportunities to have fun and make friends; they’re opportunities to build character. Without these clubs and organizations, I can confidently say that I would not be the person I am today.

    What, if anything, would you say to your PSJA Family?

    Don’t be afraid to try something new because you might just like it.


  • PSJA Student Profiles 2022-2023