BRIGHT FUTURES — Port Arthur’s Alenka Porras-Lujan to graduate with more than $1M in scholarships; hopes to be president
Published 12:40 am Tuesday, January 24, 2023
Alenka Porras-Lujan has a bubbly personality, a love for education and a passion for following politics — all great traits for a potential U.S. president.
“Ever since I was young, I wanted to be president,” she said.
And now at 17, the Woodrow Wilson Early College High School student is continuing that dream as she prepares to start college after graduation.
And with still nearly half of her senior year left to complete, she’s already accumulated more than $1 million in scholarships.
“I think it was pretty easy,” Porras-Lujan said of the scholarship application process. “Most of them, I went through the college first. After I apply to the college, they’ll send me a message.”
But, it came with a few challenges, such as writing detailed essays.
Although, Porras-Lujan said, her high school prepared her for the process.
“One of my teachers would have assignments that were from college essays, and those helped me,” she said. “I just based most of my applications on those essays. It was stressful, but it was OK.”
And she’ll begin college having already obtained 62 credits.
“We have a lot of guidance here, so it’s pretty easy to maintain everything,” she said. So far Porras-Lujan has been accepted to 17 colleges and is waiting to hear back from several more. She’s leaning towards a school in New Jersey or Lamar University in Beaumont.
“If I do choose to go out of state, I won’t be with my family,” she said. “That’s my only concern right now. I have not ever been away from my family.”
Porras-Lujan is the second of five children. Her 19-year-old sister is currently working towards her bachelor’s degree.
Porras-Lujan credits her older sister for helping guide her, and her younger siblings for helping shape her.
Growing up in a house with multiple children helped prepare the high school student for the two jobs she maintains — working as a substitute teacher through the Port Arthur Independent School District internship program and serving as a supplemental leader for Lamar University.
“I basically tutor juniors here with federal government, and I do debates in my sessions,” she said. “I love debates. It’s fun.”
She keeps up with politics on YouTube, lately becoming more knowledgeable in world events.
“After I get my bachelor’s degree, I am planning on going to law school,” she said. “I didn’t really decide to go into law school until this year, but I always knew I wanted to major in political science.”
She enjoys learning about history, as well.
“I like learning about what happened in the past,” she said. “My history teacher last year would always tell us we have to learn from the past so we don’t repeat the same mistakes.”
Principal LaSonya Baptiste said having Porras-Lujan as a student leader is a pleasure.
“She is committed to excellence and has the perseverance, initiative and intellectual creativity necessary to excel in all she aspires to accomplish and beyond,” Baptiste said. “We are so proud of her well-deserved achievements and accolades.”
As she prepares to pick a college and move to the next phase of her education, Porras-Lujan has advice for those in high school planning for their future education.
“For those who still have time, apply early,” she said. “You get a lot more stuff if you apply early. Apply as soon as possible.”