Senior Spotlight — Janet Estrada, West High School
Senior Spotlight — Janet Estrada
Janet Estrada, a senior at West High, is described by her teachers and peers as a quiet, generous, intelligent student with a bright future ahead of her.
She came to Wichita 7 years ago. Although Janet is originally from California, she spent most of her life was in Teocaltiche, Jalisco in Mexico. Her first memory in Wichita is when her teacher showed generosity and kindness while she was learning English and adjusting to her new life in Kansas.
"When we got here, we had nothing, and my ESOL teacher gave us my first Christmas tree because my parents didn't have the money to buy one," said Estrada.
Her life is very different now. Even though she is still very shy and speaking English still intimidates her, Janet has learned to keep going and never give up.
Maintaining her excellent grades represented one of the most difficult challenges in Janet's life. Despite her English skills improving, it is still one of her biggest insecurities.
"I know English, but I don't like to speak it because of my accent. I am always listening and taking notes. I try to do my homework the same day it is assigned to us so that I don't have to stress about it later. "
Her time in Mexico made her appreciate the opportunities and support that students receive in the Wichita Public Schools.
"My teachers in Mexico didn't care about me; they didn't listen. My teachers here are always trying to help and care about what I need and especially about my future."
The pandemic this year not only had changes to her learning, COVID-19 impacted her family.
"I lost several family members to COVID. My mother also got sick and then had to go to California for a family matter. I had to take care of the house, cook, clean, and attend school. I feel very proud of myself for having gotten through all of this. "
The best memories she keeps from high school are the relationships she built. Estrada found inspiration in her friends, motivating her never to give up, no matter what difficulties arise.
After finishing her studies at West High, Janet Estrada would like to return to Mexico to be closer to her family and study Cosmetology in Aguascalientes, focusing on skincare. She would like to open her own clinic one day.
The advice that she would give to future generations is to seek help and keep going.
"If you feel lonely, ask for help. There is always someone willing to help you. If you think that you might not accomplish something, don't stop, you will make it. You just need a push."