Citlalli Alonso exemplifies the well balanced, high-achieving, groundbreaking Jurupa Unified student: She's a soccer star, an academic powerhouse, and will be the first in her family to attend college.
The Jurupa Valley High School student has earned a full scholarship to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas – based not only on her athletic prowess, but also on her strong scholastic record.
Citlalli, a JUSD student since kindergarten and soccer enthusiast since age 4, in June will graduate in the top 60 of her class, with extensive college credit for Advanced Placement coursework.
"If she hadn't had the grades, they (UNLV) probably wouldn't have taken her," said Monika Montiel-Turner, assistant principal of athletics and activities at Jurupa Valley High School.
But at JVHS, Citlalli developed her brainpower along with her footwork. The center midfielder devoted four years to varsity soccer – and four years to the college readiness program AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination).
"It helped a lot more than I expected," Citlalli said of AVID. "I got more information about college than I would have in regular classes, so I was ahead of the game." In particular, she said, AVID helped her navigate college admission forms and financial aid applications as she explored her options.
"She fits the perfect mold of a successful AVID student," Ms. Montiel-Turner said of Citlalli, whom she called determined, sweet, and full of integrity. "She's definitely a competitor, which helps academically and athletically."
Citlalli chose UNLV – at the last minute, she said – after the school scouted her and invited her to tour the campus. Once she was there, she liked the people and atmosphere. The soccer standout, known for great ball skills, quickness and scoring, said she plans to major in criminology and ultimately join a district attorney's office.
As she prepares to kick off her college career, Citlalli thanked her parents, Sabas and Dora Alonso; her coaches, Carlos Silva and Steven Tellez; and her uncle Adrian, who faithfully attended her games.
Citlalli, like so many other Jurupa Unified students, will be the first in her family to earn a college degree. She is the youngest of three children.
Asked what the milestone means to her, she said, "It's a good feeling because I can make my parents and my brothers proud."