AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Two Caprock High School seniors, Connor Castaneda and Isaiah Flores will be attending Harvard University in the fall. Both students have known each other since elementary and will now be able to continue their college journey together at Harvard.
Castaneda said that he found out he got accepted during his work shift at Target. Castaneda said that he took a chance by only applying to Harvard because he felt like it was the perfect fit for him.
“I really thought I had a good chance. Being from Amarillo and having a different story. I know that if I put myself out there that I was qualified. It was just a matter of kind of being lucky you know. As a people that applied there are lot of people that are qualified. You really just have to roll a die and do good,” said Castaneda.
Flores on the other hand applied to many colleges that included Cornell, Stanford, Vanderbilt and of course Harvard. Flores said that he decided to go to Harvard because it offered him the best financial aid package and it was hard to turn down such a big name like Harvard.
Flores said that he thinks that Amarillo ISD has prepared him for college and strengthened his college application.
“I think they have allowed me to make myself into a really targeted person. I have applied myself in programs that AISD. That helps me build an application that made me stand out in a way. Like this is what this kid is doing, this is what this kid’s passions are. And it’s very clear,” said Flores.
Rohn Butter, teacher for Castenda said that it was amazing to hear that two students will be representing Amarillo and Caprock at Harvard.
“My heart just swelled when I heard about it. I knew he was applying to it. He had all of the options out there. It was just, to get accepted it was so cool. Then his friend from here also getting accepted. It is just amazing; it is a really great story,” said Butter.
Coordinator for Caprock Rock Center, Abby Ortega said that she knows that both Connor and Isaiah are going to go on and do great things. She added that not only are they both great students, but they are caring and hardworking people that deserve what they have received.
“I know that they don’t see what the older generation sees. How big this is especially for the Hispanic community. I told them, I know to you guys it’s great. But for those of us that who are Hispanic, who are of that minority. Seeing this being accomplished, in our community. It’s like yes, look at us,” said Ortega.
Castaneda said that while at Harvard that he plans on studying computer science and artificial intelligence.
Flores said that he plans on studying public policy and environmental sciences, so he may eventually become a lawyer.