Wednesday, October 17, 2018
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IsaacRosaWhen the Sharyland Advanced Academic Academy graduated its first four-year class last month, the school’s salutatorian also made history.

Later this summer, Isaac Rosa will attend Yale University in New Haven, CT. This makes Rosa, the eldest of three children, the first graduate in his school’s history to attend an Ivy League school.

“Since I’m part of the first class of four-year seniors to graduate and the oldest of my sisters, I’m setting the tone in school and at home,” Rosa said. “Its pretty encouraging for my sisters to see I can do well so they can too.”

At Yale, Rosa will study cellular biology to become a radiologist and double minor in music.

“I just think looking at x-rays is cool and I always liked looking at graphics and charts,” Rosa said. “When I was a kid I knew I wanted to get into the medical field so being a radiologist made sense because it uses that in the field.”

When he applied to Yale, Rosa also applied to Harvard and was ultimately waitlisted for the latter school.

“My parents are super excited about it,” Rosa said. “They love Texas and have told me that colleges and universities are good, but I should aim higher and apply out of state-but make sure any schools that accept me can also cover for me.”

Ultimately, Rosa decided to attend Yale after visiting the campus last spring and was offered a merit-based scholarship to cover most of his expenses.

“When I visited Yale, the students seemed happier than in other schools I visited,” Rosa said. “I saw that even though Yale was known more as a liberal arts school, it was investing a lot in the science programs so it seemed promising. And the liberal arts program would benefit my interest in music.”

At SA3, Rosa has competed on the school’s Masterminds game show team, which is hosted by local television station KRGV-TV, the HOSA-Future Health Professionals club, the UIL speech, debate and science teams.

“I just have an internal drive that pushed me to do all of this and do well at school,” Rosa said. “I do want to be a radiologist, I can’t think of any other career path that would fit me but I know that no matter what you want, you’re going to have to work hard to get there. I also think if you work hard early, it gets a lot easier as you go through it.”

Rosa credits his parents, particularly his father, whose support played a role in his internal drive.

According to Rosa, his family had to move a lot throughout his childhood due to his career in the military. However, he retired once Rosa entered SA3 so the family could have somewhere to stay put.

“In the past, I was never in a school long enough for it to feel like mine-until we came to Sharyland,” Rosa said. “He retired because of me so I could focus in school and not worry about moving.”

Settling down in Mission has benefited not just Rosa, but his parents as well, he said. According to Rosa, his mom is attending South Texas College to pursue her own career and his dad graduated with his associates’ degree in nursing last year.

“My dad is now a registered nurse and my mom is studying to be a teacher,” Rosa said. “It’s something they’ve always wanted to do and now they can since they can stay put in one place to finish their education. It’s the good thing about the Valley, its given all of us these opportunities.”

Rosa leaves to Yale at the end of the month to attend a summer orientation program and to take a writing summer class there. He said that at Yale, he hopes to make friends as good as the ones he’s leaving in the Valley.

“The memory I’ll miss the most from high school is sitting at lunch with my oddball group of friends and just hanging out every day,” he said. “Most of them are attending the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley and we’ll still talk every day in the group chat we’re on.”

Until then, Rosa said he plans to relax at home until he leaves; a moment he knows will be bittersweet for his family.

“I haven’t left yet and my mom is already worried and panicky about me going 1,000 miles away from them,” Rosa said. “My dad tells me ‘you’re an adult, you can do it,’ and I know my mom supports me, but I think it’s getting to them how they’ve pushed me to get out there and now they’re thinking ‘Oh shoot, this means he’s leaving us.’”