West Catholic is proud to celebrate the achievements of student Hadrian Smith upon his reception of the National Hispanic Recognition Award from the College Board. Hadrian, a junior, is a friendly, soft-spoken student who said he was caught off guard by the fact he was chosen for such an honor. A humble young man, Hadrian doesn’t think of himself as an extraordinary academic, yet his strong classroom performance qualified him for the award. The National Recognition Programs exist to honor the strong academic achievements of underrepresented students who have a GPA of 3.5 or higher. Awardees must also place in the top 10% of PSAT/NMSQT® or PSAT™ 10 assessment takers in their state or have earned a score of 3 or higher on two or more AP® Exams.
The classroom isn’t the only place where Hadrian excels. As part of the eSports team at West Catholic, Hadrian has played a part in the successes of the program, specifically in Rocket League – a game in which he has ranked at the state level. Though he has a laid-back, nonchalant presence, Hadrian notes that not every aspect of his journey has come easily. He shares about his struggles with mental health and the hurdles he has been working to overcome. If given the chance, he would tell other students who may also have such struggles, “Don’t bottle up your issues.” Having a place to find support is crucial, and Hadrian appreciates the friendly culture at West Catholic. Hadrian specifically gives a shout-out to Señorita Smith, who has worked to make her classroom a supportive, enriching environment.
As a recipient of the National Hispanic Recognition Award, Hadrian reflects on some aspects of his Hispanic heritage of which he is particularly fond. His mother, from Mexico, has brought special traditions to their family which he values. Hadrian especially appreciates his family’s meaningful observance of the Feast of the Three Kings as well as important celebrations such as family quinceañeras.
Looking ahead, Hadrian hopes to pursue a future working in computer programming and shared that he would like to continue competing in eSports beyond high school. West Catholic is proud of Hadrian’s many accomplishments and is grateful to the College Board for recognizing his success.