• Student U

Alex Vichis-Orozco

Updated: Jul 9, 2019

I was born on September 29th 2004. My mom said that she had been at the hospital since the night before. Nothing really happened after I was born. Everything was like a normal day. Nothing different. On June 2nd 2005, my cousin was born. I had no idea that in a few years we would be really close. I am an only child, so my house was kind of empty because there were only three people living in it. We would eventually add a few pets along the way.

Since my parents worked, I went to my aunt’s house all of the time. That was where my cousin and I would bond together. We basically grew up together. We were like brothers. I was an only child and his brother was much older than us, so my cousin and I we did everything together. We do have other cousins, but they are quite a bit younger than us. We still talk and spend time with them, but we don’t have that much in common.

I soon started preschool. My parents had taught me how to speak Spanish, but not English, so when I stepped into the classroom, I had no idea what the other kids and the teacher was saying! I was a quiet kid for the first few days, but my teacher taught me to speak English, so I soon started to talk with the other kids. And since I am a fast learner, I was soon able to speak fluent English.

I eventually moved on to elementary school. A few days before I started my orientation, my dad took me to a UNC store. There, my dad bought both me and himself some shirts. When we were in line to checkout, I spotted a stuffed animal. It was kind of weird because it had the body of a bear, but the tail of a lion. Either way, I went to the stand it was on and started playing with it. My dad saw me and he asked if I wanted it. I quickly grabbed the toy and ran to checkout. That toy went everywhere I went. I even took him to my orientation! I didn’t take him with me to school because I didn’t want him to get lost. I still have that toy to this day. 

Elementary was boring to me, just like it was to everyone else. I struggled with explaining my work during class and I also didn’t participate all that much. My teachers always said that I was really smart, but I just didn’t put in all of my effort. This was true. I still struggle with that sometimes. 

It was my fifth grade teacher that actually recommended that I attend Student U because she believed that I could do better than what I was doing. I was given the application and my parents and I filled it out. After a while, I was informed that I was accepted into the program. This filled my parents with joy. 

It was soon time for me to move on to middle school. I tried to go to a public school, but I was too late. I ended up attending a private middle school called Durham Nativity School. I thought that I was going to be the only kid from my elementary school to go there. I asked everyone at my school to see if anyone was going to go to Durham Nativity, but no one was. I started to ask people at Student U as well, but nobody was going to my school! For the last weeks of Student U, I met a kid named Christopher. We were both in an origami club and because we were too advanced we used to always finish before everyone. This is how we became friends. I never did ask him what school he was going to, but when I went to my school’s orientation I saw a familiar face. The one person I didn’t ask about their school. It was Christopher. Since we already knew each other, we were closer than we were to the other students. I made a ton of friends and I advanced in my academics. I also volunteered at a food bank for community service hours that my middle school required. I can’t complain about my school because they helped me to attend a private high school called Cardinal Gibbons. This school has also advanced me so much that I will be taking Spanish 2 Honors and English 9 Honors in high school.

My house is always calm and quiet even though we now have a dog, a guinea pig, and 2 birds. I am still an only child but I am always with my cousin and my pets. My family and I are always close.


We always get together for the holidays and my family is HUGE. In the U.S.A. alone, I have 5 uncles, 4 aunts, 11 cousins, my grandparents from my mom’s side and the family pets. I still have a ton of family in Mexico and I love them all. I am always told to try my best in school because my uncle had a rough past that changed them. There were drugs, gangs, bullying, and other criminal acts involved, but that was then. Now they are caring, hard-working, and trying to have a better future. None of them are in jail, but they did learn some valuable lessons along the way. Many members of my family never finished school and because of this, I am always pushed forward by my entire family so that I can achieve something that they couldn’t. This being a complete education, including finishing high school and graduating college. My family is always proud of me for getting this far in my education. This will also be instilled in my baby cousin who was born a few months ago. He is really sweet and I also hope that he makes a difference in the world one day. As for me, I still have a lot of my life ahead of me, but I do my best to make the most of it.


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