It was just four weeks ago that Yulexis Ruano left the comfortable hallways of East Kentwood and started a new chapter in Allendale at New Options High School. Just one credit short of being admitted to the high school, his personal goal of pursuing a spot on the football and baseball teams, and later a career in car mechanics and auto body repair, is propelling him to work hard and make a difference.
“Since I’ve come here, I’ve been more motivated to become something and do something with my life. No one in my family really did anything and I really want to be that person–the one who makes it,” he said.
Since his time at New Options, Yulexis has been particularly inspired by a field trip he took to the Careerline Tech Center. Once he heard that they are number one in the state, he was prompted to research the opportunity further. Seeing the facilities and learning about the practical training available opened his eyes to a field that he wasn’t interested in at all before. He’s determined to spend half his day at the tech center during his senior year to complete their auto-related programs.
“I’m seeing the future and looking forward career-wise and taking it more seriously,” Yulexis added.
Guidance counselor Marie VanFarowe glows when she mentions his name, saying she attributes his success at New Options to his personal goal of getting into Allendale High School. “Yulexis is great student and he’s working hard at getting the credits he needs to transfer to AHS.”
To make up the credit he needs for that transfer, Yulexis is taking double the normal class load of his peers and earned a 4.0 last trimester! He hopes to spend his entire senior year at AHS so that he can graduate with the high school class. “I’m coming to the high school and I’m going to do something to better the high school. I just need a little — a little — help to push me, to motivate me to do so,” he said.
While he waits for that transfer to happen, the junior spends time on the courts as a player for the Stars, an alternative basketball team in Allendale. He is currently the only player from New Options and says he’s doing it to have fun even though it really isn’t one of his “good sports.”
Yulexis’ enthusiasm and zest for life are apparent from the moment he smiles. He already has plans for ways he’d like to get involved once he’s a Falcon — and his teachers believe he’ll make them happen. Ms. VanFarowe adds, “He’s a great kid, very polite, well mannered and respectful. I wish I had twenty Yulexis! It’ll be hard to see him go, but I’m going to be happy for him.”
Dream big, Yulexis! We believe in you!