By John Philip Wyllie
For most high school students, getting called into the vice-principal’s office is something to be avoided at all costs. That is because at many schools, vice-principals handle disciplinary matters. When Bonita Vista High’s Abraham Alvarez got the call last week, he was summoned for a very different purpose. Vice-principal Dennis Rasmussen had the pleasure of telling Alvarez that he had been selected from among all the athletes in California this fall for the prestigious CIF Spirit of Sport Award. The Spirit of Sport Award recognizes one student-athlete each season for his or her exemplary sportsmanship, school and community service and leadership.
It is easy to see why the Mexican-born Alvarez was selected. Currently ranked number one in his class, Alvarez owns an astronomical G.P.A of 4.78. A G.P.A. of 4.0 would be a straight “A” average, but due to the difficulty of the many IB classes he has taken, grades received in those classes are weighted. Thus it is possible, as Alvarez has shown, to exceed what is essentially a perfect G.P.A.
The son of a Mexican physicist and a biochemist, Alvarez would like to become a surgeon. The list of universities he has applied to reads like a Who’s Who of the top American institutions of higher learning.
“I’ve applied for early admission to Harvard and I am in the process of applying to UCLA, Berkley, and UCSD. I’ll also apply during the regular admission period to Yale, Princeton and Stanford. Harvard is probably my first choice,” Alvarez added.
As an athlete, Alvarez has been nearly as impressive. He finished fourth individually in Metro League cross-country competition and helped the Barons dominate in the league finals. The team went on to finish sixth in CIF competition. Alvarez also set a personal record finishing one 3.4 mile course in a sizzling 16.22. With the cross-country season now completed, Alvarez will soon begin training for his final season of high school track.
Whether it is on the track or in the classroom, Alvarez has demonstrated the ability to battle and prevail in the face of some very tough competition. He himself is not sure where his competitive edge comes from.
“I have always been motivated and pushed to excel. I don’t know if it is any one thing that provides my motivation. I just try to do a little bit better at everything each day.”