Steven’s Success Story


Photo Courtesy of: Steven De La Cruz

De La Cruz’s main hobby is basketball as it helps him clear his head

Mikayla Maluyo, Co-Editor in Chief

As the school year ends, another class of seniors will graduate. Among those seniors are the valedictorian and salutatorian. The Class of 2023 has Brady Beko and Steven De La Cruz as those candidates. Both are incredible students that have outstanding GPAs. With dedication and a lot of hard work, they have achieved these titles. As Mustangs, they are finally completing their race.

Enjoy what you do and don’t waste your time on things that give you no growth.

— Steven De La Cruz

De La Cruz takes rigorous courses and maintains a high GPA. He attended Advanced Technologies Academy during his freshman year and transferred to Shadow shortly after. He took on multiple Advanced Placement courses during his freshman year and continued taking them throughout his high school career– until the very end. 

His goal to become valedictorian started young– stemming from the fifth grade (Photo Courtesy of: Steven De La Cruz)

The drive that it takes to complete those courses and still excel in other classes is an indescribable challenge that most cannot do. 

In that, De La Cruz does not seem to be shaken under pressure. 

“My family and ambition motivate me,” he says. “I want to make them proud– nothing else, and I want to be the best I can be. My religious (Christian) faith and the relationship I have with God also keep me motivated.”

With his drive and a strong need to maintain his GPA, De La Cruz often puts things on the back burner. 

“I was not the greatest at balancing my school life and extracurriculars, but my faith helped me push through the struggle,” he tells. 

Although his senior year has been tough, he has reached the final stretch (Photo Courtesy of: Steven De La Cruz)

Although he admits to not having a set balance between his social life and school life, he still makes time to do things he enjoys.

“I play basketball each time I have the slightest chance,” De La Cruz explains. “It gets my mind off of everything and it’s just me, the ball, the rim.”

Among the classes he’s taken this year, he has ranked Advanced Placement Physics and Dual Credit English among his favorites. De La Cruz has always had a love for physics and the class with Mrs. Stan only let him enjoy it even more. The challenge during each lesson and the pacing of the class kept him engaged. Dual Credit English with Mrs. Smith is a class that prepares students for the future. Throughout the class, they create resumes, are introduced to new writing techniques that are often brushed over, and analyze short stories. English has never been a favorite subject to De La Cruz, but the class has taken a special place in his ranking this year.