Accolades keep coming for Dominguez High’s MESA champs
Recent high school graduates Azucena Castro and Jennifer Barrientos honored by state legislature in Sacramento. COMPTON (MNS)—For the recently-graduated Dominguez High School MESA championship duo of Azucena Castro and Jennifer Barrientos, the accolades and adulation keep
Recent high school graduates Azucena Castro and Jennifer Barrientos honored by state legislature in Sacramento.
COMPTON (MNS)—For the recently-graduated Dominguez High School MESA championship duo of Azucena Castro and Jennifer Barrientos, the accolades and adulation keep coming.
Last July 6, it was the California Legislature’s turn to honor the college-bound students for their prowess in mathematics, engineering, and science achievement.
The pair were recognized before both houses of the California legislature, July 6, where leaders including Sen. Isadore Hall, III, D-South Bay, Assemblyman Mike Gipson, D-Carson, and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson congratulated them for their prosthetic arm design.
Their award-winning project, designed and fashioned for under $25, earned them first place at this year’s state and national MESA competition in Utah.
For Azucena, who seeks to major in computer science at the University of California, Berkeley this fall, said the trip to Sacramento was unprecedented.
“I [was] really excited to be [there]. It’s not common for students to be honored in the state capital,” she said. “We are proof that students from Compton can do great things. Nothing should ever get in your way of doing what you set out to do.”
Barrientos, who is headed to UC-Irvine, where she will pursue a bachelor of science degree in biomedical engineering, said being recognized by [political] leaders in the state capital is something she will never forget.
“It’s just an honor knowing we’re from Compton, a place people outside of the city don’t expect much from, but [we proved] we can achieve anything,” she said.
Faculty advisor Emmanuel Ikeokonta said he believes his students will continue to achieve great things in college and in their careers.
“They’re going to go places and change the world. They’re champions in my heart already and will continue to be,” he said. “Azucena and Jennifer know that it takes hard work to be successful. I know they will do well.”