PN-G 2017 class sets the bar high

Published 12:50 pm Wednesday, June 14, 2017

PORT NECHES — The top 2 percent of Port Neches-Groves High School’s 2017 graduating class kept their eye on their academic goals and is ready to work toward their respective career paths.

The top 2 percent includes seven students; three of which are looking to become doctors, one plans to major in finance, one in mechanical engineering, one plans to be a pediatric psychologist and one is looking at either becoming an anthologist or an exotic animal veterinarian.

The Port Arthur News presented the students with a questionnaire and here are their answers:

  • Alex Reeves, the son of Brian and Jenifer Reeves, said “being successful in college has always been a dream of mine and to be able to afford college I have had to work as hard as possible to obtain scholarships. Being academically successful in high school was necessary for getting to go to the college of my choice.”

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Determination and hard work were attributes Reeves used to overcome distractions.

When Reeves is not studying he enjoys spending time with his friends, playing video games and lifting weight.

His advice to freshmen? Get involved.

Reeves plans to attend the University of Houston in the fall and seek internship after his first year. He looks to major in finance and minor in leadership studies.

Ten years from now he hopes to be employed and either pursuing his masters degree or have already completed it.

His current favorite movie is “The Big Short” because it’s funny, thrilling and informative.

  • William Ntsoane, the son of Rhonda and Elias Ntsoane, said it was very important to achieve academic success because “I wanted to learn as much as possible and make myself proud. I want to be an engineer and go to a good school, so academic success is essential.”

Ntsoane kept his eyes on the prize, so to speak, when asked how he overcame distractions.

“I’ve been tempted to slack from time to time but I’ve seen how too little discipline can derail dreams. I decided I never wanted to give up on my vision, so I kept working hard,” he said.

When not studying he enjoys hiking, watching stand-up comedy and TV shows and going to the beach with friends.

His advice to freshman is to work hard, very hard in the freshman year, as it will give you a competitive edge and put you ahead of the game early.

Ntsoane plans to attend the University of Texas at Austin where he plans to become a mechanical engineer, where the field is well-paying and diverse with opportunities.

Ten years from now he sees himself working on some cutting edge technology. “With biomedical implants, robotics, rocketry, alternative energy, all being growing fields, the [possibilities are endless.”

Ntsoane’s favorite movie is a tie — either “Django Unchained” or “Pulp Fiction.”

“I’m a big fan of Tarantino’s work and I love a good action film,” he said.

  • Riley Andrews, the son of Michelle and Michael Andrews, said he has always placed an emphasis on giving his best effort and achieving academic success was living by that value.

In order to overcome distractions, Riley reminded himself that every minute of hard work was an investment towards his future.

When not studying or doing schoolwork Andrews spends his time playing football and running track. In addition he enjoys weightlifting. Outside of physical activities he loves spending time with family and friends.

His advice to freshmen is to let the academic competition improve and not consume them. “It is always important to give your best effort but it is also important to live a balanced lifestyle.”

Andrews plans to attend Oral Roberts University in the fall where he will major in medical molecular biology. After receiving his four-year undergraduate degree he plans to attend medical school.

Ten years from now he sees himself as a medical doctor participating in residency for either dermatology or ophthalmology.

He counts any of the movies from the “Star Wars” franchise as his favorites.

“Those movies were a huge part of my childhood and they will always have a special place in my heart,” he said.

  • Abby Hoffpauir, the daughter of Steve and Carol Hoffpauir, said academic success is important to her because she wanted to make her family proud but being the best she could possibly be in all areas. “I work hard for myself because I want to do well, but I work harder for my family, school, and community because I want to represent them and make them proud,” she said.

Recognizing the things that are distractions was one way to overcome them, she said. She set goals and knew what she wanted to achieve and once she had done that it was simple to dismiss anything that was not conducive to her education and well being.

Her favorite activity while at school was her involvement with student council. She also loves going to camp and meeting new friends and also planning fun events at the school. In leisure time at home she enjoys reading books, watching movies, making crafts and painting.

Her advice to freshmen is to learn to balance academics and fun first. Figure out how to have both outside of school and within your extracurriculars while prioritizing your education. Above all, have fun and work hard.

Hoffpauir plans to attend the university of Texas at Austin in the fall with the hopes of studying abroad in a Spanish-speaking country sometimes during the course of her undergraduate degree in pre-med biology.

Her goal is to attend either medical school to become an anesthesiologist or veterinary school to become an exotic animal vet.

Her future 10 years from now depends on the path she chooses to take. She may be starting her individual career as a doctor or finishing her residency. “I hope to have created a positive reputation within my community and be involved,” she added.

When asked which is her favorite movie, she said one of her favorite movies is the 2012 adaption of “Les Miserables.”

“I loved the book, but the fantastic acting, sacrificial themes and musical aspect of it make me cry every time,” she said.

  • Madison Hamby, the daughter of Garry and Nancy Hamby, said it was important to achieve academic success in order to have the ability to have her choice of career and best determine how she can change the world.

Support of family and friends always encouraged her to pursue education with determination thus overcoming distractions.

When not studying or doing schoolwork Hamby enjoys being outside, staying active and spending time with family. She is also a huge movie fan.

Her advice to freshmen is to get involved. Being involved gives you an opportunity to meet all kinds of people and make a positive impact on the community, she said.

Hamby plans to go to college and study abroad during the summer. She will major in pediatric psychology with a minor in business.

Ten years from now she hopes to be a well-traveled person, settled in a bigger city with her own practice.

Her favorite movie is “Dead Poets Society.”

“It is the quintessential coming-of-age movie with Robin Williams in it,” she said.

  • Derrick Papa, the son of Myrna and Raul Papa, said he wanted to set himself up for the future and figured that focusing on his studies would help with that as a way of achieving academic success.

To overcome distractions, Papa tried his best to stay focused and kept his goals in mind whenever he was studying.

When not studying or doing schoolwork, Papa enjoys playing video games, basketball and watching anime.

His advice to freshmen is simple — “do not to be afraid to be yourself, be friendly and be involved.”

Papa plans to attend the University of Texas at Austin where he will major in pre-medical biology. Afterward he plans to attend medical school and either become a general physician or something in the medical field.

Ten years from now he sees himself on the path towards happiness and success.

Papa said his favorite movie is “Space Jam” because he grew up watching it and it reminds him of his childhood.

  • Vivian Nguyen, the daughter of Thug-Hoa Nguyen and Hung Lam, said academic success is important in that it will allow her to pursue her career goal.

Prioritizing helped her overcome distractions.

“I make sure I don’t deprive myself of the things I like to do,” Nguyen said.

When not studying or doing schoolwork she enjoys reading and watching Netflix.

Her advice to freshmen — “Pace yourself, don’t give up and don’t deprive yourself of the things you enjoy,” she said.

Nguyen plans to attend Texas A&M University where she will major in biomedical sciences and later attend medical school.

Ten years from now she hopes to be in her residency and moving towards her goal.