Photos / Mia Okubo and Christian Quinones
Never stop exploring: never too young to pursue your dream
Editor’s note: This story was written in early spring and would have been published in the print issue “Never stop exploring.”
Many Coronado students have ventured outside what is normal, helping put our school on the map. The following students have accomplished so much as such a young age and plan to pursue their dreams further, hopefully making a future out of it. Whether it’s art, sports, or entertainment, each of these students is well-rounded and dedicated. Seniors Nicole Poissant, Roman Garcia, and Nailea Devora and junior Irvin Gonzalez have identified their passions and are well on their way toward their careers.
Nicole Poissant began drawing when she was in the fifth grade. She began with various doodles and sketches, but has since perfected her skills and developed her own style. Some of her aunts are also artists, and she feels they inspired her tremendously. her art usually makes use of less vibrant tones, but recently, she has sprung out and started using bolder colors.
“I tend to use very mute colors, very neutral tones,” she said. “Recently, I’ve started using markers, so I’m kind of changing in that way, trying to do more backgrounds in my drawing.”
Poissant has an affinity for drawing and considers it “therapeutic.” She has participated in many competitions, mostly designing t-shirts. In 2018, Poissant won first place in the EPISD Advanced Art Competition, and the next year, she won third place. She is also preparing to compete in the Visual Arts Scholastic Event (VASE).
Her plan is to attend Texas Tech University and major in art. She hopes to one day become a successful artist and design children’s book illustrations or create animations for movies.
Just as Poissant has had an early start, other Coronado students have taken steps toward their careers. Ramon Garcia’s dream is to train and ride horses at a professional level. His father is an accomplished trainer, so Garcia has been surrounded by racing and training his whole life.
His family’s training center is the Santa Teresa Racing Stables. He trains quarter horses, which run shorter yards. Garcia has perfected a routine to take care of his animals.
“I wake up at 5:30 every day, then feed the horses,” he said. “From there, I gallop my horses. When I get home after school, I feed them again, take care of their feet, give them medicine, then train them.”
Garcia’s ideal job has always been an established trainer. He plans on graduating from Coronado, then beginning training right away.
In the future, he hopes to take over his father’s industry as a full-time trainer with his own horses. Garcia also aspires to win the All-American race, which is the biggest race for quarter horses. His greatest accomplishment so far has been training his own horses. He has been making a name for himself, just as some of his peers are doing as well.
Irvin Gonzalez’s love of boxing started when he was 12, when he decided he wanted to learn self-defense. Upon learning he could make a living out of boxing, he firmly set his mind on this goal and began training harder than ever. He decided to take a break for a year to focus on school but came back to box again this year. He is preparing for his sixth amateur fight. He started his journey in Juarez, Mexico, and is planning to compete at the next level soon.
“In the future, my plans are to study marketing and practice boxing,” Gonzalez said. “I hope to be a world champion at an early age, so I can defend titles and hopefully become established.”
Already, he has been in numerous fights, including one with a 40-year-old male. He has a promoter, trains with the Olympic team from El Paso, and practices about five days a week for up to six hours each session. He is the first boxer in his family and hopes to make a successful career out of the sport. He, like some others his age, know the value of hard work and improvement.
Nailea Devora rose to fame in 2019. She first become noticed via Instagram and since then has grown to have over 500,000 on the social media platform.
“I started making videos on YouTube, but they weren’t taking off, so I kept posting pictures on Instagram,” she said. “My audience continued to grow on Instagram, then I transferred it over to YouTube.”
Devora’s most recognizable social media platform is her YouTube channel. She began creating videos in seventh grade, when she became fascinated with making edits of a band she liked. During that period, she struggled to get views – often only reaching 100. Since then, Devora has reached 1,000,000 subscribers on YouTube and has millions of views on her videos. Devora is now working with United Talent Agency and has her own manager in Los Angeles.
She will be attending college in California next year so that she can commute to work in Los Angeles easily. Her biggest accomplishment is reaching over 12 million views on a video and receiving her 1 million subscriber plaque from YouTube. She has also begun to work with various brands, such as Gucci and many clothing brands.
In order to build a steady foundation and help her audience grow, Devora will study business marketing in college. Outside of social media, Devora is the president of DECA, which is a business organization. She was a state qualifier this year and last year. All of this has helped her find a business foundation in her new career.
Coronado High School has many students that already have big plans for their future. At such a young age, it is remarkable to see students like Poissant, Garcia, Gonzalez, and Devora already working and becoming successful in the areas they love. For them, this is just the beginning.