Student: Andres Espinoza
Year in School: Junior
Plans After High School: Andres want to go to college and earn his degree, but he's still undecided on which degree. Ultimately, he wants to become a fire chief in a fire department.
GPS Focus: PRIDE & SERVICE
What Makes Andres #BulldogSTRONG: Through her compassion, Mother Teresa was able to save the lives of some of the poorest people in the world. Heroes are compassionate and care about others, and since Mother Teresa showed compassion through caring for the poor, she exhibits necessary qualities of a hero. At Golden Valley High School, junior Andres Espinoza has become a hero for his peers during the difficulties of distance learning as he displays compassion and care for the well being of others. One of the ways in which Andres has displayed his heroism is through participation in ¡LISTOS! Established in 2020 by the Kern High School District, ¡LISTOS! (Leaders In Stride To Obtain Success) is a program geared towards Hispanic males with the mission to build confidence, instill educational value, promote effective communication, inspire college and career goals, foster an appreciation of culture, and encourage brotherhood. Students from across the district meet monthly to develop skills and attributes necessary to be effective Latino leaders and make a difference in the community. “I joined ¡LISTOS! in order to show pride in the Latino community,” passionately states Andres, “I want to demonstrate the power of ¡LISTOS! by showing that it is here to help and prepare us for our future.” For Andres, he hopes that ¡LISTOS! can be an important platform for Hispanic males and even females to think about college and career readiness because it holds opportunities for individual success, but ultimately, to make a difference in the world. “This program has inspired me to be better,” humbly states Andres, “I hope that through the lessons I’ve learned in ¡LISTOS! can inspire other Latinos and Latinas to be better as well and help others obtain success.”
In addition to the inspiration and support he has received from participation in ¡LISTOS! Andres has become a key leader in GVHS’s peer support program, THRIVE. Entirely created, organized, and facilitated by students at GVHS, THRIVE (Timely, Honest Respect, Improve, Valued, Engaged) is a premiere support group that operates in providing assistance in school work, building powerful bonds, and supporting the mental health and emotional needs of their peers. Andres was not originally part of THRIVE, but when he started seeing the value of THRIVE on campus, he was inspired to want to join to become a THRIVE Leader and help others. “I love the fact that I was able to join THRIVE to spark changes in others and from there, they can become their own leaders,” graciously states Andres. On a weekly basis, Andres commits hours of his time to the betterment of THRIVE as he spends time with other THRIVE Leaders creating agendas for their THRIVE meetings so that they can provide the necessary support and care for those students that simply need peer connection and sometimes, a friend. “The main benefits that I get from belonging to THRIVE are the bonds that have been created with other students on this campus,” comments Andres, “The most important part to me is seeing students genuinely care for and celebrate the success of others because of the strong bonds that have been created.” Academically, Andres maintains above a 3.5 GPA and is slated to graduate meeting the A-G requirements, but his desire to serve and demonstrate compassion and support to others is paramount. “I live to serve and help others,” smiles Andres, “I just want others to know that they are capable of accomplishing anything that they put their heart and soul into.” For the compassion and care that he exhibits towards his fellow peers as a participant in ¡LISTOS! and as a THRIVE Leader, Andres Espinoza is a #BulldogSTRONG hero.
As a THRIVE Leader, Andres Espinoza has provided care, compassion, and support to his peers at GVHS.
What #BulldogSTRONG Means to Andres: "Being #BulldogSTRONG means having the ability to surpass your limits with kindness and respect. Using these two #BulldogSTRONG mindsets is important because it demonstrates PRIDE in our school.”
What Teachers and Staff Think of Andres:
“Andres Espinoza is an excellent student with a high GPA of 3.577. Andres is on track for graduation and is meeting the A-G requirements to be able to apply to a four-year university straight out of high school. Andres has been able to maintain all this even in distance learning making him #Bulldog Strong.” Ramon Cardenas, Counselor and LISTOS Coordinator, Golden Valley High School
“Andres Espinoza is the epitome of perseverance. I have had the pleasure of teaching Andres in my World History class and he continues to demonstrate excellence in academics and extracurricular activities. Andres has had some bumps along the road this year due to COVID and other family concerns, but with his dedication and desire, he has shown anything can be done while having a job, being part of THRIVE, a part of LISTOS! and maintaining over a 3.0 GPA. Andres serves as a great example for all kids who may be having a hard time in school and this is why is #BulldogSTRONG.” Marshall Garcia, World History Teacher and LISTOS Coordinator, Golden Valley High School
“I have had the pleasure of knowing this young man for multiple years now, and when I have the pleasure of speaking with Andres or his family it is the true highlight of my day. He is genuine and a friend to everyone-- so much so, he is an integral part of our student support group THRIVE. Although Andres epitomizes #bulldogSTRONG, the most notable is his ability to overcome obstacles. As the African proverb goes, “Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors” and I have no doubt that Andres will be a major success in any endeavor he pursues with his positivity and spirit!” Jennifer Webb, Dean of Administration and Instruction
“Andres was in my English class last year and was a model student. He was kind and helpful to his peers. He was always the first to reach out to anyone who was feeling down. I remember I was so excited to give him his ticket for the ice cream social last year, but unfortunately he was sick on the day of. However, he was still very grateful I even considered him. His reaction showed me his character, and made him a student I'll never forget. Andres, I am so happy you continue to be #BULLDOGSTRONG and I love to see your current successes and ventures with THRIVE. I'm so proud of you, kid!” Nancy Cisneros, English Teacher and Color Guard Coach, Golden Valley High School
“This year the L.I.S.T.O.S. advisors and I have had the pleasure of working with Andres as part of our group. He has been model of what it means to be #BulldogStrong within our group by taking the lead in each project and setting an example for others. He demonstrates Growth by asking questions and seeking out answers without fear. He is a natural leader and a student that every teacher is proud to know and have in their class. Even though we have all been at a distance from each other Andres has worked to bring his fellow students closer through his work in Thrive and L.I.S.T.O.S. Golden Valley is Stronger today because of students like him!” Emmanuel Gomez, Counselor and LISTOS Coordinator, Golden Valley High School
“Andres is #BulldogSTRONG in that he provides excellent advice and insight to his peers. Andres should have his own podcast or host a TED Talk. That’s how stellar he is in providing SERVICE on campus to his peers.” Pablo Reyes, Dean of Students, Golden Valley High School