BRIGHT FUTURES — Port Arthur senior-to-be Marimar Guillen blending music and culture

Published 12:40 am Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Marimar Guillen was surrounded by music from a young age. Her father and paternal grandfather played guitar, the former also belonging to a musical group that sang Hispanic music.

And it was culture that came into play when the soon-to-be senior at Bob Hope High School opted to learn violin.

“There are a lot of songs in the Hispanic culture that play the violin nicely,” she said. “And I already knew how to read sheet music.”

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Her musical journey began in the fifth grade with baritone and tuba. But after moving to Bob Hope Schools the following year, she changed to saxophone and violin.

And now the 17-year-old musician has played the Star Spangled Banner at the high school’s graduation for the last two years.

But with her own graduation less than a year away, Guillen’s focus shifted to her plans for the future.

“I’m planning to go to (University of Texas at Austin) and study criminal justice and hopefully be a private investigator or a criminal investigator,” she said. “I’ve always had trouble figuring out what I wanted to do in the future, but my junior year I started getting interested in the criminal mind.”

Guillen recently attended a two-week camp in Beaumont that included a class on exploring the criminal mind and how it works.

“That’s what really sparked my interest,” she said. “Their minds are so interesting. And I definitely want to help people. That’s one of my biggest goals.”

Helping is one of her main goals for her final year of high school.

“I’m looking forward to doing to as many school activities as I can,” she said. “I definitely want to volunteer a lot more. I always like to be involved.”

Guillen has been involved in volleyball and also reached a second-degree level black belt in Taekwondo.

But her extracurricular involvement hasn’t taken her focus off the real work.

“I really like mathematics, especially algebra,” she said. “And reading is one of my favorite subjects, too.”

Guillen, who was born in Galveston and moved to Port Arthur at the age of 2, has a 14-year-old brother and 9-year-old sister.