Breaking the Mold: Part of Our Ongoing Student Leaders Series
by Paul R. Kopenkoskey, School News Network
Hector Zoleta lives a line made famous by the late Sen. Edward (Teddy) Kennedy.
“Some men see things as they are and say why?” Kennedy said at brother Robert’s funeral. “I dream things that never were and say why not?”
The same question resonates in the Godwin Heights High School junior’s life.
Why not become President of the Student Council, earn a 3.9 grade point average and become a member of the National Honor Society?
Why not volunteer every other Sunday packing sack suppers for the nonprofit Kids’ Food Basket for children who otherwise would have no evening meal to eat?
“It surprised me when I first heard there are kids that have no supper,” said Hector. “I was never really exposed to that fact.”
Hector’s thirst for knowledge and living a rich and varied life is slacked in other ways as well.
He basks in the knowledge math and science make possible.
He’s played defensive and offensive tackle on the Wolverine’s varsity football team.
He’s seen around the High School helping to improve the environment by collecting paper every Tuesday for recycling.
For Hector, 16, a life full of activity, is a life with purpose.
“I started at Godwin when I was in second grade and it’s what built me up to where I am now,” said Hector. “I believe you need to be a good person and it will come back to you.”
Hector starts his day at 5 a.m. so he can get to the bus that will take him KCTC.
Early to bed, early to rise
Hector Zoleta’s rise and shine begins long before the sun greets the morning.
He arises at 5 a.m. so he can hop in his car and make it to the bus stop at 6:15 a.m. where it will take him to the Kent Career Technical Center.
This year, he is studying the wide-ranging health careers available to bright, eager young people such as himself.
He’s talented at memorizing medical terminology, the muscular system and anatomy and physiology — both human and animal. Next year, he’d intends to study the science of preparing and dispensing medical drugs. His goal is to one day become a pharmacist.
It’s a career choice that sparked his interest when he was 10 years old. His doctor mentioned to him while giving Hector an exam he was a pharmacist before becoming a pediatrician. That enlightened conversation never left his memory.
“That sounded interesting to me,” said Hector. “Since then, I’ve talked to some pharmacists. They told me it’s a career that once you get into it, you stay into it.”
Learning the periodic table in his chemistry class is fascinating to him.
“Particularly learning how to make a completely different thing when you bond an element with another element,” said Hector. “It’s interesting.”
Important to stretch yourself
In the meantime, Hector stretches himself as the Student Council President, a position that affords him the opportunity understand what it means to be a leader by planning homecoming and lock-in parties. The position has bolstered his self-assurance as well.
“I’ve given speeches in front of the entire school,” said Hector. “That gives me confidence.”
Hector realizes not all his questions in his life are easily answered.
“I’m really good at math,” he said. “I don’t know why or how, it just comes easy to me. I’m currently taking pre-calculus. That’s a senior class. I’m taking it as a junior and I’m getting an ‘A.'”
Read the whole Student Leaders Series