2017-06-02 / Schools

Senior moves onward and upward

GRADUATION 2017 /// Community High School
By Caitlin Trude

Mindy Villa Roa Mindy Villa Roa Community High School senior Mindy Villa Roa will soon have a chance to catch her breath. In a few short days, the 18-yearold will collect her diploma at CHS’s graduation ceremony— once she overcomes senioritis, that is.

“The final days are stressful. I have a lot going on at the moment,” said the Moorpark teen. “(I’m looking forward) to finally being done, to say that I did it.”

Had Mindy not switched from Moorpark High to CHS two years ago, she likely would not have been able to graduate on time.

“It was just teachers really didn’t have enough time to help because it was big classes and it was a little more challenging for me,” Mindy said. “CHS is at my pace and (my) teachers are more involved with the students’ work and help them succeed to make sure they pass. I was able to knock out a lot of classes this year that I wouldn’t have been able to if I didn’t transfer.”

Mindy thrived at CHS. She said her history, marine biology and Associated Student Body classes were some of her favorites.

“(I’ve enjoyed) meeting all the people I’ve become close to and the teachers that have helped me through it all.”

In the fall, she’ll attend Moorpark College to major in criminal justice, and she’s considering continuing her studies at a four-year school.

Aspiring to be a crime scene investigator or a probation officer, Mindy credits her interest in these fields to family members who work in law enforcement as well as the popular TV show “Criminal Minds.”

“My goal is just (to) get down to the bottom of the truth behind incidents and to stop someone that might eventually hurt someone else.”

As she embarks on the next chapter in her life, she looks forward to meeting new people, moving closer toward her dream career and making her family proud.

“I don’t want to disappoint them,” Mindy said. “My dad always pushes me to do (well) and helps me through stressful times, and same with my mom. They’re very helpful and very supportive.”

Trine Harvuot, Mindy’s marine biology teacher at CHS, described the senior as an overall “super-cool human being.”

“She definitely works hard, she’s a sweet kid (and) she’s got a good edge to her,” Harvuot said. “She can definitely hold her own. She’s honest and dependable, and the thing that sets her apart from other students is her leadership.”

Those qualities and more led to Mindy’s receiving a $1,500 scholarship from the Conejo Simi Moorpark Association of Realtors.

“I was really proud of her when she received the scholarship,” Harvuot said. “I’m very, very excited that she’s going on to college.”

Jose Ocegueda, Mindy’s history teacher at both CHS and MHS, said he’s seen her evolve from a shy student to a confident, responsible young adult.

“She was quiet, kind of withdrawn from school and missed a lot of school,” he said, referring to Mindy’s time at MHS.

Back then, Ocegueda said, he affectionately nicknamed her “Snowcone” because of the different-colored hairstyles she sported at school.

“Now she’s involved in organizing CHS activities, she’s here all the time (and) she’s happy,” he said. “She has really matured in that time.”

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