July 24, 2024

Summer break is typically synonymous with rest and relaxation, but for Jada Arredondo, this is a crucial time to focus on securing her future. Arredondo will be entering her senior year at Irving High School in the fall, and she has big goals to accomplish before closing this chapter of her life. Raised by a single mother of three, Arredondo and her family overcame many obstacles before settling in Irving when she was in the first grade. Because of those experiences, she learned how to not only persevere, but to thrive despite challenging circumstances. 

Arredondo attended Hanes Elementary and Johnson Middle Schools prior to Irving High, where she currently serves on the campus improvement committee, varsity tennis team and as student council president and Green Team vice president. She’s also involved in Academic Decathlon and AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination). Being heavily involved on campus has not only added to her high school experience, but it has also opened doors to various opportunities this summer, like attending Camp RYLA (Rotary Leadership Youth Award), interning in Washington, D.C., through the CHCI (Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute) and attending the Youth Leadership Institute (YLI) program at the University of Southern California (USC). 

“It’s so exciting,” says Arredondo. “These are such great opportunities to network and learn valuable leadership skills.” 

Later this month Arredondo will board a plane, for the first time ever, and journey to California to attend the Youth Leadership Institute (YLI). Through YLI, high-achieving Latino high school juniors are able to enhance their leadership abilities and expand their professional networks. Thousands of students from across the country apply each year for this program with only 7% earning acceptance. In July, Arredondo will travel to D.C., to begin her 6-day internship with CHCI – one of the many opportunities she credits her counselor for. 

“My counselor Ms. Andrea Delgado forwarded me the information about CHCI, so I took a chance and applied,” she adds. “I have aspirations to one day become a Senator for the state of Texas, so this will be a great opportunity to network, learn more about politics and gain public speaking experience.” 

Arredondo says that she feels prepared for college and beyond, greatly in part to the staff at Irving High. 

“The staff is astounding. Ms. Bridget Winkle and Mr. Benjamin Metcalf have truly prepared me to be in a college setting, and Assistant Principal Todd Allen is so nice and committed to developing the AP (Advanced Placement) program. Our administrators and teachers support us and push us to do our best,” says Arredondo. “I live in Euless now, but I’m committed to staying at Irving High because I refuse to change schools. I love it there.”

Arredondo is currently Salutatorian for the Irving High Class of 2025, but she doesn’t want to stop there. She has hopes to work her way into the Valedictorian spot before the end of next school year. 

Post-high school, she plans to attend Duke University to major in economics and eventually follow an accounting or law career path before tackling the Senate.