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Senior Success Story: High student didn’t know English in 2022, now top 25 of her class


By Jessica Harrington

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    SELMA, California (KFSN) — Alondra Macias Frayle arrived at Selma High School at the start of her junior year in 2022.

She, her mother and her two brothers moved just a year after her father passed away from an illness.

“It was like really hard to be in a different place with different languages, different people, different lifestyle,” Alondra said.

She had no friends and didn’t speak English.

“At the beginning, I used Google Translate for everything,” Alondra said.

She would translate her work from English to Spanish and then again from Spanish to English to turn in her assignments.

Despite doing double the work, she persisted with the words of her late father, Rodolfo, in her mind.

“He always said to us we have to be better than anyone else, and that motivates me,” Alondra said.

She leaned on her English Language Development teacher, Rosemary Montoya, for support.

Montoya says Alondra thrived in an educational environment.

“She just has that drive to want to do amazing,” Montoya said.

Montoya says Alondra asked how she could improve, and that’s when Montoya suggested Alondra start speaking English.

From there, Montoya says Alondra blossomed.

“She has all the level classes that all the juniors and seniors have, she’s taking it,” Montoya said.

Now, nearing graduation, Alondra will cross the stage as one of the top 25 students in her class.

She’s also been awarded the SHS Character Award for her hard work and perseverance.

“She’s going to do well. She’s going to be a trailblazer,” Montoya said.

While Alondra says her younger self would’ve never imagined she’d be able to accomplish everything she has, she’s happy to be here.

“It’s really, really awesome. I’m so surprised about this, just honored to be here and I’m so proud,” Alondra said.

Alondra plans to attend Reedley College in the fall before eventually transferring to Fresno State.

She hopes to one day become a dentist.

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