Shivani Alur and Jazmine Brito have made their way to the top of the Odessa High School senior class.
Alur is the valedictorian, and Brito, the salutatorian. Both are 18 and have attended OHS for three years.
Alur plans to attend Trinity University in San Antonio to study business and chemistry while Brito intends to earn a bachelor of arts design at the University of Texas at Austin. The two became friends this year and say there wasn’t any competition between them for the top spots in a group of about 600 students.
Alur, who was awarded the Murchison Scholarship to Trinity, the President’s Scholarship for Loyola University New Orleans and the Distinguished Presidential Scholarship for UT San Antonio, had been recognized for being a top student at Bowie Middle School and wanted to continue the trend. Brito said getting to the top ranks was apparently organic.
“I kind of just wanted to pass all my classes, so it kind of just happened,” Brito said.
Alur is a member of the Superintendent’s Advisory Council, president of the National Honor Society, co-captain of the Academic Decathlon, a co-founder of the reading café book club and an International Baccalaureate candidate.
She earned 24 semester credit hours of college credit through her IB diploma requirements. Alur also volunteered at the West Texas Food Bank.
Brito is an AP scholar and dual credit student, earning 18 hours of dual college credit and logged 50 hours of volunteer time for Texas Scholars. She has given of her time for the West Texas Food Bank, Merry Marketplace, Odessa Fall Festival and the YMCA.
She is a member of the National Honor Society, president of senior board and has maintained perfect attendance throughout her secondary years. Brito noted that she was in mariachi at Ector Middle School, as well.
Brito said her teachers made a big difference in laying a foundation for college.
“My AP (Advanced Placement) teachers helped me a lot, not only to have a foundation for the test but to continue on after that,” she said.
Brito said she’s excited, but nervous about graduation.
“It’s exciting. I can’t believe it’s here. It’s still sinking in,” she said.
With her double major, Alur wants to establish her own food company that will create a nutritional snack.
“I’ve always been interested in food,” Alur said. “When I was younger, I wanted to be a chef and acted like I had my own Food Network show. Then I started thinking about doing business and then decided to combine the two (chemistry and business).”
Brito said she wants to start her own line of professional clothing for all occasions.
“And maybe along the line, design wedding dresses,” she said.