One lesson that’s stayed with Buena Vista’s Alex Cortez is the value of hard work.
That is especially true in the classroom as Cortez finished in the top three of his class while balancing his role on the Longhorns football team.
Cortez said that mentality has been ingrained in him from a young age by his parents.
“My main thing with my parents was keeping my average up and doing well in school,” Cortez said. “One of the big messages that stuck with me was that if you don’t keep your grades up, you won’t be able to play football.
“I just tried to follow what they said and do my best in both.”
Cortez’s efforts paid off as a key starter on the football, earning second team all-district honors his junior season.
He’s also been involved in his school as an officer in the National Honor Society, as well as UIL Academic competitions including social studies, math and spelling.
He’s found success in those competitions as well, saying that it’s all about taking time and being willing to sacrifice to be successful, another valuable lesson from this parents that he’s taken to heart.
“They’ve always been very supportive of me and they want me to excel in the things that I do,” Cortez said. “They always wanted to be there for me and accomplish anything that I want to set my mind to.”
He will get a chance to further pursue his academic goals with plans to attend UTEP and study electrical engineering.
Cortez added that math is one of his favorite subjects and combining that with a passion to see things come together drove him on this path.
He added that he hopes to use that knowledge in constructing power lines and generators.
“I just love using my intuition to create new things,” he said. “I want to be able to have an influence in the world around me and being an engineer is a good way to do that.”
Buena Vista head football coach Dale Pustejovsky has seen first-hand the hard work that Cortez has put in both on and off the field.
He added that he’s grateful for him as someone who stepped up as the program was dealing with lower numbers and balancing his studies.
“He’s a kid that’s worked really hard,” Pustejovsky said. “He takes his grades seriously and he’s the kind of kid that will give you his best.”
Cortez is also motivated to set an example for his younger sister, like his older brother. He added that being able to balance multiple things is a way to do that.
“It’s important for her to understand the same lessons I learned,” he said. “She looks up to my brother and she knows that we’re doing well with our grades and we set that example for her.”
“He’s a kid that doesn’t cause any problems,” Pustejovsky added. “He’s well-behaved and is definitely a role model for his siblings and the rest of the students at the school.”
Cortez still has that passion for football and said that some of his favorite memories came from the encouragement he received in practice for doing well or something that the team did well. He hopes to use that same passion and energy for a different pursuit, hoping his efforts continue to make his parents proud.
“I want to be able to do that and find a job that will help make me successful,” Cortez said. “I want to be able to go on in life knowing that I did it right.”
>> Follow Tony Venegas on Twitter at @OA_TVenegas
>> Academic Rank: Top 3 of graduating class
>> Sports: Football
>> Academic bio: Keeping a consistent, higher GPA was a top priority; National Honor Society; UIL Academics
>> Athletic bio: Football (2019 All-District)
>> Activities: Football; National Honor Society; UIL
>> College and major: University of Texas at El Paso (Electrical Engineering)
>> Goals for the future: To pursue a career in the Engineering field
>> Favorite subject: Economics
>> Favorite book: 1984 b y George Orwell
>> Favorite musician: La Fiera de Ojinaga
>> Role model: My parents. They taught me the true value of hard work and shaped me into the person I am today