• 79°

BRIGHT FUTURES — Bob Hope valedictorian Andrea Ochoa ready to start her own business

Andrea Ochoa graduated from Bob Hope School at the top of her class.

As the class of 2020 valedictorian, the 18-year-old’s merit is taking her to the walls of Lamar University to study business.

“I chose to major in business because I would like to learn all there is to owning and running a business,” she said. “I hope to have the opportunity to be offered internships, so I can gain experience of what my career actually looks like out in the real world.

“This would help me decide if I would like to work for a company for some time or just start investing my time in starting my own business. Once I receive my bachelor’s degree, I plan on going back to school to pursue my master’s degree.”

Ochoa said her biggest challenge has always been being indecisive.

“I can never make my mind up for anything, so when the time came for me to start thinking about what major I wanted to study, I thought I was never going to decide,” she said. “After a long time of thinking, I chose to let go of my perfectionist mindset and visualize all the possibilities and positive outcomes of each career. When I was finally able to stop overanalyzing everything, I was able to decide what I wanted to do.”

Andrea Ochoa is the Bob Hope Class of 2020 valedictorian.

Ochoa likes to see all things done correctly and precisely.

“For instance, if I was shopping for a new pair of shoes and I see even the slightest mark or stain on it, I would ask the employee to bring me another pair,” she said. “Even then, if I see that they are all kind of stained, then I won’t buy anything.”

The Port Arthur native remains a believer in the power of education. ion is important to her because she feels it is the backbone to anything one wants to do in life.

Having an education opens doors to countless opportunities that can ultimately help change one’s life, Ochoa said.

Alongside numerous study sessions and focusing on education, Ochoa also spent a lot of time in organizations and playing sports. She played volleyball and soccer.

Volleyball coach Christian Cruz said Ochoa is one of the best athletes he’s ever had at Bob Hope.

“She will never quit playing even when everything in the court and out was against her,” he said. “She leaves a stronger volleyball program at Bob Hope. Many girls admire her and want to play like Andrea.”

Andrea Ochoa will attend Lamar University in the spring to study business. (Courtesy photo)

Ochoa also made time for volunteering in her community and was a part of the Leadership Team and Key Club groups.

“Both organizations were based on volunteering and helping out the community, which is why I joined,” she said. “I like to be a part of anything that can essentially make a change for the better.”

Her favorite organization was the Bob Hope Leadership Team.

“Every month they would bring in a speaker that would talk to us about their life experiences and how they have created an impact,” she said. “This motivated me to keep on striving to be successful and giving back to my community.”

Ochoa also hopes to give back to her family someday. She says she is happiest when spending time with her family.

“I enjoy going on vacation for the holidays and my role models are my parents,” she said. “I have seen them go through probably the biggest hardship they will ever experience in their lives, and yet they have handled the situation way better than I anticipated.

“I admire their strength and their strong faith the most, because no matter how much our lives have changed, they make sure to keep a positive attitude towards everything.”

Ochoa said she is going to miss seeing her friends each day in high school but is looking forward to a change in environment and more freedom as a college student.