Student: Esmeralda Arinaga
Year in School: Junior
Plans After High School: Esmeralda plans to major in business in college, but is keeping her options open in case other passions or opportunities arise.
GPS Focus: SERVICE
What Makes Esmeralda #BulldogSTRONG: The theologian, organist, writer, humanitarian, philosopher, and physician Albert Schweitzer made a profound statement about the importance of SERVICE, “I don't know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.” For Golden Valley High School junior Esmeralda Arinaga, SERVICE to her peers and to her community has brought her much joy and happiness. For her peers, Esmeralda has been an essential part of THRIVE on campus in her role as a THRIVE Leader. Entirely created, organized, and facilitated by students, THRIVE is a support group that operates in providing assistance in school work, building powerful bonds, and supporting the mental health and emotional needs of their peers. “I decided to join THRIVE because I believe peer support is an amazing concept,” passionately states Esmeralda, “I believe students can connect with each other on a deeper level than staff and administrators can.” So each week, Esmeralda helps to plan agendas, meet with THRIVE Leaders and THRIVE Guides, and comes up with presentations for students to help them with their social, emotional, and academic needs. Through her weekly commitment to helping students adjust to an ever changing world as a result of Covid-19, Esmeralda has seen herself grow. “Becoming a THRIVE Leader has taught me that I am a compassionate person that is empathetic towards others,” humbly comments Esmeralda, “I hope to continue to spread the word that THRIVE is a safe space for students to receive support, have fun together, and even make new friends.”
Esmeralda Arinaga takes genuine PRIDE in belonging to THRIVE and supporting her peers at GVHS.
In addition to her commitment to peer support, Esmeralda is committed to serving her community as evident in her work to help those that are homeless. Inspired by a YouTube video that she watched a few years ago, Esmeralda is specifically interested in providing femine hygiene products to homeless women that may struggle to have basic access to essential items. “I am a huge advocate for women’s rights,” passionately states Esmeralda, “I want to do my part to provide products to those in need.” With that Esmeralda has created a Women’s Hygiene Drive at GVHS to help women in need. The goal for the Women’s Hygiene Drive is to provide women at the Mission of Kern County with hygiene products. Through the making of the Women’s Hygiene Drive, Esmeralda has learned that she can help out in her community more than she thought she could. “While I can’t help out every person in the world who needs it, I know I can make an impact on my community.” The Women’s Hygiene Drive at GVHS will run from May 3-14 and feminine hygiene products can be dropped outside of the front office from 7-3:30pm. For her passionate commitment to SERVICE, as evident in her efforts to provide peer support as a THRIVE Leader and in providing hygiene products to homeless women, Esmeralda Arinaga is #BulldogSTRONG.
Organized by Esmeralda Arinaga, The Women’s Hygiene Drive at GVHS will run from May 3-14 and feminine hygiene products can be dropped outside of the front office from 7-3:30pm.
What #BulldogSTRONG Means to Esmeralda: "#BulldogSTRONG means helping others and being the best you, you can be. It’s all about promoting a positive self image.”
What Teachers and Staff Think of Esmeralda:
“Esmeralda is very selfless, she thinks of others before she considers herself. She has a passion for change and demonstrates growth pride and service as a student and THRIVE leader. She likes to challenge herself to be better and is not afraid to ask for help.” Dalfon Amey, Interventionist, Golden Valley High School
“Esmeralda was a welcomed addition to our peer support group as a Thrive Leader. She is a friend to everyone she meets and has a genuine air of coolness. I admire that she is authentically herself and I especially love it when she shares her pet ducks on video. For these reasons and more, Esmeralda is #BulldogSTRONG.” Jennifer Webb, Dean of Instruction and Administration, Golden Valley High School
“Esmeralda demonstrates her desire for GROWTH every day in class. She asks wonderful questions that are very thoughtful and show that she wants to learn more. She also demonstrates her desire to SERVE others here at GVHS because she always asks how I am doing, which I appreciate!" Terri Richmond, Social Studies Department Chair and WASC Coordinator, Golden Valley High School
“Esmeralda is an awesome young woman who exemplifies what it means to be #BulldogSTRONG. She participates and encourages other students to join THRIVE. She volunteered to help with my student teachers TPA video recording and spoke to the other students about how important it is to have great teachers in the future. She also has some really cute ducklings which she introduced me to! So happy to have her as a student! ” Darcy Blagg, English Teacher, Golden Valley High School
“Her contribution to be a THRIVE leader is much appreciated. I enjoy listening to her sound advice to her peers. She is a person who has shown SERVICE in providing peer support in the digital environment and I look forward to the continuing contributions she will have once we return to in-person learning.” Pablo Reyes, Dean of Students, Golden Valley High School