Student: Nestor Montelongo
Year in School: Senior
Plans After High School: Nestor plans to attend California State University, Sacramento and although he is uncertain of his career direction, he makes the promise that he will do something great in this world and will “be in the books” some day.
GPS Focus: GROWTH, PRIDE, & SERVICE
What Makes Nestor #BulldogSTRONG: In its most basic form, grit is defined as passion and perseverance for long-term and meaningful goals. It is the ability to persist in something one feels passionate about and persevere when they face obstacles. At Golden Valley High School, grit is infused into our #BulldogSTRONG behavior expectations as students are encouraged to show GROWTH by overcoming obstacles. For GVHS Senior, Nestor Montelongo grit is at the core and essence of who he is as a Bulldog and person as evident in his actions in the classroom, on campus, and in the community. However, it would be in the Bulldog wrestling room where Nestor would develop and harness his grit into a powerful force. As a freshman, Nestor came to GVHS overweight as he was 5’3 and weighed close to 215 pounds - a weight he admits was not healthy. Upon joining the stability of the Bulldog Wrestling program, Nestor was committed to altering his health and after a few months and 40 pounds dropped, he established himself as a leader in the wrestling room and was making an impact on his teammates through his grit and determination to be the best version of himself. “Through wrestling I learned how much I could actually make an impact on myself,” humbly states Nestor, “I also realized that I can impact other people's lives through my experience of losing weight.” In addition to his new positive self image, Nestor has also seen his fair share of success on the mat as evident in medaling at some of the more notable wrestling tournaments in Kern County such as the Cotton Classic at Shafter High School and the Titan Classic at Frontier High School. Nestor also demonstrated his grit against Ridgeview High School where at 177 pounds he wrestled up in weight class against an opponent that weighed 220 pounds and successfully defeated him. Wrestling for the Bulldogs is a source of PRIDE for Nestor, “It's crazy honestly to think that I am a wrestler in a top program,” comments Nestor, “Sometimes I completely forget how well-known the school is for its wrestling until I get out in the mat and realize that being a Bulldog is a big deal.”
Nestor Montelongo (Bottom Left) takes PRIDE in belonging to the GVHS Wrestling Program - a program that has had much success over the years.
In addition to the grit he has shown on the mat, Nestor has carried his passion and grit into the classroom. As a member of the 2nd Place GVHS We The People Team of the 21st Congressional District, Nestor and his teammates of Unit 1 finished in 3rd place as a unit as they analyzed the complexities of the philosophy and historical foundations of the American political system. Academically, Nestor has accumulated a 3.2 GPA while being enrolled in the most rigorous Advanced Placement (AP), Honor’s Placement (HP) and College Prep (CP) courses that GVHS has to offer. During distance learning, Nestor has continued to show grit in the difficulties of a virtual environment. “Distance learned has taught me a couple of important life lessons,” indicates Nestor, “I have gained a lot more appreciation for having daily contact with classmates, other students, and staff. I have also learned the value of having more compassion, humility, and understanding for people.” In addition to the rigors of academics during distance learning, Nestor showed his grit by helping his family financially as he took to working at a local Denny’s restaurant and Brazillian Muscle Bowl. “It has been rough, it ain't the easiest when you got a lot of responsibilities on your plate,” humbly states Nestor, “But with that support I receive from Golden Valley High School, I am able to manage and overcome the busy times.” For the grit, humility, and PRIDE he has in being a wrestler and student at Golden Valley High School and in the selfless SERVICE he demonstrates in helping his family, Nestor Montelongo is #BulldogSTRONG.
Nestor Montelongo (Center) has shown much grit academically at GVHS such as being part of the We The People that finished in 2nd Place for the 21st Congressional District.
What #BulldogSTRONG Means to Nestor: "#BulldogSTRONG is just a reflection of my attitude. I believe that people should be more respectful and should just love or seek to understand one another. There is too much negativity in the world. A lot of conflicts that we have had, currently have, and will have in the future could all be avoided if we just all become better people that try to understand each other and if we all seek to compromise and set our differences aside. ”
What Teachers and Staff Think of Nestor:
“Nestor is a perfect example of #BulldogSTRONG. He is honest, trustworthy and has a work ethic that is amazing. He seeks out challenges and takes them on with great enthusiasm. He is also a man of his word: if he says he will do something, he always does. I admire his integrity, his grit, and his amazing desire to seek out new horizons.” Terri Richmond, Social Studies Department Chair and WASC Coordinator, Golden Valley High School
“Nestor has always been a hardworking and dedicated student athlete. He is one of the moral leaders of our wrestling team, and always shows great sportsmanship win or lose.” Joe Rojas, Physical Education Teacher and Wrestling Coach, Golden Valley High School
“When Nestor entered high school he was enrolled in my Engineering Design class. It was clear from the beginning of his high school career that Nestor was #BulldogSTRONG. Nestor has always been respectful and polite. He has a great sense of humor and I enjoyed having him in class. During his freshmen year I encouraged him to join the wrestling team. He was no different in the wrestling room- enjoyable to be around and win or lose, he kept a positive attitude. Nestor has always been quick to be in SERVICE to others. Any time we needed anything done, for example during tournament set up, Nestor was always first to step up and volunteer. He has always been helpful to our coaches, his teammates and his classmates. It has been great to see Nestor’s GROWTH throughout his high school career and I look forward to seeing what he does in the future as he continues to be #BulldogSTRONG in the next chapter of his life.” Aaron Wherry, Visual and Performing Arts Department Chair and Former Wrestling Coach, Golden Valley High School
"Nestor Montelongo is a shining exemplar of what it means to demonstrate the #BulldogSTRONG Attitude & Aptitude as a learner. On a daily basis Nestor demonstrates Pride by bringing a positive attitude and spirit into each class meeting. He is engaging in conversation, encouraging others, and truly makes the classroom a much more joyful atmosphere for teachers and students. Moreover, he demonstrates Growth as a learner through both his commitment to participate in school learning activities like We the People and through his own hunger to learn and inquire about challenging topics in class as well. Truly, having Nestor in class this year has been an honor and he is a shining exemplar of being #BulldogSTRONG.” John Hansen, We The People Coach and Government/Economics Teacher, Golden Valley High School
“Nestor is always a bright light in my class, especially first thing in the morning. He is a ray of positivity and shows PRIDE in his interactions with teachers and peers. He is the first to say good morning or offer a quick anecdote to share. These small acts are in fact large when it comes to the world of distance learning where interactions are slim and far and few between.” Madison Bealessio, Yearbook Adviser and English Teacher, Golden Valley High School
“Nestor is an awesome young man! In class Nestor is hard working, nice and respectful. He gets along very well with his classmates and is very much liked by them. I enjoy having in my class because he has a very nice personality and I know he will be successful in the future in whichever career he choses due to his positive attributes.” George San Miguel, Biology and Anatomy Teacher, Golden Valley High School