• Katherine Vazquez

    Katherine Vazquez

    PSJA Memorial Early College, Class of 2023

    Plans to Attend: University of Texas at Austin

    Major: Arts & Entertainment Technologies


    ⏺ An Honor Roll Student
    ⏺ 2022-UIL One-Act Play District 31-5A Zone A Alternate
    ⏺ US History STAAR EOC Achievement

    ⏺ PSJA Memorial ECHS Wolverine Theatre Technical Achievement Award
    ⏺ Monitor Student of the Week
    ⏺ Pharr Rotary Student of the Month

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

    Throughout my life, I have faced many hardships, but I had to overcome them in order to be the person that I am today. Even though one’s circumstances and choices in their high school years may seem inconsequential, the truth is that the challenges I faced during this time played a huge role in the definition of my identity. For instance, at the beginning of high school, I started with a clean slate since I was entering a brand-new school with people I have never met. While this may seem like it was a beneficial situation, it was hard for me since I am a reserved person. I had to make new connections and friendships, unlike others at school. While it was hard since oftentimes I would be left out while others had their friends, it was a learning experience since it taught me how to be social and how to form my own connections with others.

    Additionally, right after I entered high school, we had to go online because of COVID-19. All of this combined did not allow me to form a community within the school. I did not know anybody, so I was not a part of any extracurriculars. The online year was also especially hard because I became very isolated from everyone around me. While having friends was not necessary for my education, it would still have been helpful, especially when the teaching was being done online, and having friends would have made it easier. Overall, I learned from these challenges that I was given and have become a better person because of them. These experiences motivated me, since I know that when I put my mind to something, I will be able to do it regardless of the circumstances. My dreams of pursuing higher education are possible because if I can overcome adversity in high school, then I can get through anything in university and beyond.


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

    Although I have had to face many obstacles during school, I have had many more opportunities than hardships. Firstly, just the opportunity of being able to have an education. When I was younger, my mom specifically wanted me to attend a PSJA school because she knew from her research that they were one of the best school districts in the area that I lived in. She went out of her way to make sure that I was able to receive the best chance at a good future, and that meant attending a school at PSJA. This turned out to be the best decision since when I entered high school, I was able to be a part of the PSJA Early College Program. My mother was the first in my family to attend college, so she knew how much of a difference having a college education made. She wanted me to go further than her and get an even higher-level college degree. This program gave me the opportunity to finish an associate’s degree while still in high school, so I not only have prior knowledge of college work and experience before I even enter university, but I also can get my next degree earlier than others without this opportunity.

    Finally, just the community and teachers at PSJA could be considered an opportunity. My teachers were always ready to help me with anything that I needed even if it was sometimes on a weekend, because they truly cared about their student’s education. Even when applying for college, the school was prepared to help me with anything that I needed. These opportunities not only made my future easier for me but also allowed me to become the responsible person that I am today.

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

    I would love to thank my PSJA Family for all of the support that they have given me in my years at school. Without them, I would not be where I am now. I would especially like to thank all of the teachers and others involved in the learning process because they were the ones that allowed me to realize my potential and believe in myself. They supported me every step of the way so that I am now able to say that I am graduating high school not only as a responsible adult but as a college graduate. I am ready for the future and as prepared as I am today because of the teachers and administration at my schools that recognized the importance of education in a child’s life. Overall, I just want to thank my PSJA Family for always being there for me and for granting me the opportunities that I was given all throughout my life.


  • PSJA Student Profiles 2022-2023