Youth of the Year forges pathway to success


Guadalupe Aguilera embodies the Lindsay spirit: friendly, hard-working and dedicated to the community that raised her. It’s no wonder why the humble senior was nominated Lindsay’s youth of the year.

“This has been an honor. I would never have thought that I would be nominated, there are a lot of good people who deserved it,” shared Guadalupe.

Even at a young age, Guadalupe loved going to school and helping out the Lindsay community. Her interest in community service started when she was in 7th grade and she was part of the Tienken Academy where she helped plant flowers and pick up trash around downtown Lindsay. Guadalupe has spent the vast majority of her educational life in the Lindsay Unified School System. However, she began her freshmen year attending Strathmore High School. Having been taught in a Performance Based System, Guadalupe struggled to adjust. Her mother told her that she had to finish out the year, but could return back to Lindsay High School as a sophomore.

“I was really worried about going back. I thought, what if everything has changed? But everyone was the same.”

Back at her hometown high school, Guadalupe continued her love of community service. She has been a part of many service projects such as: being SCICON counselor, helped with fund raisers for March of Dimes, volunteered at the Porterville Police Department Animal Control, participated as a server for Lindsay Hospital Guild breakfast, and the Lindsay Chamber of Commerce Awards Dinner, painted sets for annual school plays, donated food and toys for unprivileged families of the Lindsay Community, helped out at fundraising food booths and sold newspapers for Valley Children’s Hospital.

In addition to doing so much volunteer work, Guadalupe is the President of the National Spanish Honors Society and Vice President of the Future Business Leaders of America, where she recently took first and fourth in competition. She is also publicist of the Drama Club, and a member of the American Sign Language Club.

Her academic achievements are impressive with her currently ranked eighth in a very large class. She has challenged herself with seven advanced placement courses over the last two years. This hard work has earned her recognition with California Scholarship Federation. Guadalupe also joined the tennis team her senior year. “It was so fun. All of my friends were already on the team.” She went on to shared that although she was new, the team was never frustrated with her. Instead, they encouraged her through her mistakes.

As the end of her senior year approaches, Guadalupe plans to attend a four-year university, studying in a biology-related major. She doesn’t have a specific dream school, but she does dream of getting accepted to a dream of getting accepted to a prestigious university so she can begin her journey toward a career in medicine. “I’ve always wanted to help people. And the human body is so interesting, you’re constantly learning new things.”

Guadalupe was born in Lindsay to Mariano and Maria Aguilera and she is the second of six children. Despite all of her community and academic achievements, what she is most proud of is her ability to be an example to her four younger siblings. “They see all of my achievements and they say, ‘I’m going to be smart and rich and a millionaire.”

Guadalupe is now looking to face perhaps one the most difficult challenges in her young life, moving away from the family she holds so close. But like many first generation college students, she knows the path she forges will help lead the way for her siblings.

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