Senior Celso Ortiz makes a difference through Compas and AVID
Every person has a different story. For senior, Celso Ortiz, his is one to tell. Being the eldest of five younger siblings, a highly praised Compas program leader, and an admired AVID senior, Ortiz understands what it takes to be a responsible role model.
His involvement this school year with Compas, a school organization that helps Spanish-speaking students learn English and maintain workload, reflects his life in some way. A native Spanish-speaker, he understood the difficulties of learning English, and once Compas came into his line of sight earlier this fall, he jumped at the idea of giving other students opportunities.
“I really wanted to pay forward…I’ve been in their shoes and it’s really hard to learn English,” Ortiz said.
The mentoring role has been great, he said, yet his short, effective work in Compas will soon come to an end this June.
However, he hopes this organization will spread and allow students around campus to take notice how important Compas is.
“I hope more students are willing to put an effort into being more involved… this is just a great cause for the school,” said Ortiz, his positive persona always being of help to others.
Ortiz’s leadership and talents have been obvious to many, persuading teachers and classmates to nominate him for coverage in this senior issue.
“He’ll drop his things just to help you out or help others… he just wants the best for everyone else,” said Leo Anaya, a close friend of Ortiz’s since grade school at Lillian Larsen Middle School.
Around school, Ortiz is known to be compassionate and hardworking. “He has the desire to help other people more than just himself… he continues to amaze me,” said AVID teacher Angela Logan. Logan introduced Compas to Ortiz at the start of the year, knowing his work would be driven and voluntary after his strong performance as a sophomore in her class in 2015.
AVID guides many students to apply and enroll in colleges that are right for them without collecting too much school debt. As an AVID student his senior year, Ortiz was able to apply to different colleges in more simple steps in this college based class. Ortiz was accepted into San Jose State University and Chico State University.
However, it’s the best of times and worst of times. Ortiz will not be able to attend either college. His devotion and loyalty to his family are much larger than himself, and providing for them is what he looks forwards to.
“Family is everything. Family’s first,” said Ortiz.
At the start of fall 2017, Ortiz will attend Fresno City College, on a path towards Fresno State University.
His care for others has come a long way, money being an insignificant factor when the matters are redirected to the people he cares most about.
Since the summer going into his freshman year, Ortiz has managed to keep a steady job, working in the fields and wineries while staying focused on his school work, his family being his main motivation. By his junior year, he started working two jobs, the second at Fish Gaucho.
Ortiz confessed to making 700 dollars a week working in the fields and wineries and reduced that number to 500 dollars a week, after he discontinued his work in the fields and wineries.
Instead of spending his own income with materialistic things, Ortiz often supports his family with groceries, bills, and rent, estimating to 300 dollars providing for his family.
“I’m the picture they look up to and I have to be a good role model for them,” said Ortiz when talking about his younger siblings, aging from nine months to 15 years old. His strong efforts to maintain a steady household and accessible opportunities for the Ortiz family noticeably shows the unconditional love he has for them.
At the age of 18, the strong leadership he has carried so far isn’t easy, and in times of stress he can count on his two best friends, Jose Mejia and Leo Anaya.
“They always picked me up. Every time I fell off the ladder, they helped me climb back up,” said Ortiz about the two longtime friends he has had since Lillian Larsen Middle School.
“We consider him a brother,” said Mejia.
They describe Ortiz as motivational and loving, a combination that conveys his actions to be determined and selfless.
“His life might take a different path, and he’ll still get there because he has the drive and has the ability,” said Logan.
His compassion for others has been respected by teachers, students, friends, and family. After graduation, these desired traits will only carry on further, those close to him believing in his success.