Jordan Barajas is going to Stanford University.
The East Union High senior was told at an early age that with hard work and good grades he could go anywhere in the country to college.
He may have been skeptical, initially.
“I’ll get straight A’s throughout high school and see what happens,” Barajas recalled.
He did just that. Not only did he get perfect grades – included was 29 A-plus grades at last count, according to Principal Raul Mora – over the course of the past four years, he’s also been involved in various activities.
Since his sophomore year, Barajas has been a varsity basketball player for the Lancers.
The Stanford-bound student is also receiving a full-ride scholarship via the QuestBridge.
He applied for this national college match shortly after receiving his acceptance letter on Dec. 1.
By then, Barajas had already applied to Yale, Dartmouth, and Columbia.
“I had to withdraw those applications (from those Ivy League schools),” he said Friday in the East Union High library, pointing out that this was part of the QuestBridge scholarship stipulation.
Barajas hopes to someday become a math teacher.
No surprise, he was greatly influenced by his many instructors at East Union, in particular, freshman honors teacher Brad Edam, AP Language teacher Nate Smith, and Astronomy teacher Remberto Lopez.
The latter was Barajas’ basketball coach as a freshman.
“He took me under his wing,” he said of Lopez, who was impressed with the strong work ethic the teen put forth on the basketball court and the classroom.
Barajas is currently a teacher’s aide for Lopez.
“He’s always did a good job managing both basketball and his school work,” said Jennifer Barajas, Jordan’s mother.
She nudged her son along his educational path.
“He was always motivated,” Jennifer Barajas said. “I really didn’t need to push him.”
Mora and counselor Angeleena Sim were proud of Jordan Barajas’ acceptance into Stanford. They can’t recall the last time that an East Union student made it to the prestigious West Coast school directly from high school.
Both credited block scheduling during the past two years for helping that dream come true for Barajas.
He’ll be visiting Stanford on Jan. 31 for his Class of 2021 orientation. Barajas will also spend several days on campus in late April for the Admit Weekend event.
To contact reporter Vince Rembulat, e-mail email@example.com.