By FRANCISCO E. JIMENEZ
San Benito High School student Andrea Mosqueda, 18, has always had an interest in words – interest that’s traced as far back as before birth, when her mother read to Mosqueda while she was still in the womb.
It’s Mosqueda’s enthusiasm that she attributes many of her accomplishments to, including being accepted to Yale University, earning the rank of valedictorian and, most recently, being named the recipient of the San Benito News scholarship.
“It was an honor,” said Mosqueda about being awarded the News scholarship. “It just felt like everything I’ve been working towards has been recognized. It makes it more special because I’ve been interning there. To end up with the scholarship, it just makes it more special. I’ve been hearing about the scholarship recipients of the past, so it’s nice to join the ranks.”
Mosqueda is the daughter of Albert and Rosalinda Mosqueda, who are both teachers. It is their background in education that the recipient, a talented contributor to the News, credits her achievements.
“I was, it turns out, very lucky. My mother encouraged me to read as much as I could, buying me books whenever we had the money,” said Mosqueda in her scholarship application essay. “I had parents who were educators, who knew that a college degree could bring you much more than just debt, who wouldn’t let me get a part-time job throughout high school because it might interfere with my studies, and this, I think, is what made the most difference.”
It is a plan that seems to have worked out for Mosqueda, who has earned a plethora of awards and academic achievements including AP Scholar with Honor, San Benito Hi-5 Honoree and KRGV Student of the Week, among others.
It is her intense interest in reading that ultimately influenced her decision to pursue a degree in English. She hopes to follow in the footsteps of her literary idols, including Chuck Palahniuk and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, among many others, and become a novelist.
“I think that ultimately I want to be a novelist, but if that doesn’t work out I want to be an editor at a publishing company,” Mosqueda said. “This whole journey has been one step after another; you have to keep the end product in mind. You don’t lose sight of what you originally wanted.”
Mosqueda is currently making plans to move to New Haven, Connecticut in August to attend classes at Yale.
“I’m both nervous and excited, but it’s just going to be a new chapter and a new adventure,” she said of her college plans. “I kind of have to go through it and wait and see what’s coming. My planner is my best friend. I have really good time management skills. My focus has always been kind of difficult, but I know if things matter then I focus on them. And this definitely matters.”
“When I think of my favorite memories, most of them happened in the yearbook room during deadline,” said Mosqueda, who served as the editor of the yearbook. “We’re all in there together, all day, every day for like two weeks just working. We all get so close. Some of my best friends were from yearbook. My first relationship was a yearbook relationship. Those are my best memories.”