Salutatorian headed to Texas A&M: Barrera on school, values, and the future

By Freddy Jimenez

Karen Michelle Barrera


Doused in self-awareness, with strong family and communal values, as well as a desire to serve the country and help others, Karen Michelle Barrera earned herself the Salutatorian rank for the Port Isabel High School graduating Class of 2019.

Apart from attending school like most teenagers, Barrera has also found herself working at local customer service jobs such as the P.I. Café, Bayquest Outfitters, and even interned at P.I. Dental.

An involved student, Barrera was also a DECA club member, was in the National Honor Society, the Lower Valley Cotillion, and was a Student Council member (serving as Historian and President). Other groups Barrera was a part of includes the Port Isabel High School Band and Upward Bound Port Isabel.

Her volunteer service has consisted with groups and roles such as the Island Baptist Food Pantry, the Salvation Army, Feast of Sharing, being a Church Youth Mentor, volunteering at the Harlingen Nursing Home, and even dedicated some time as a teacher assistant at Garriga Elementary Summer School.

Now that her K-12 years are over, and with independence knocking at the door, the Salutatorian has her eyes set on Texas A&M University in College Station for the upcoming fall semester. She plans on studying and majoring in Biomedical Science and Chemistry.

“Biomedical science is an applied discipline, focusing on obtaining knowledge of how the human body works. It helps understand the development of medical and public health; whereas, chemistry notifies me how things are composed, structurally, taking into account this affects the way it functions or behaves,” said Barrera. “I enjoy this field because I can utilize prior knowledge from other courses including math and English strategies to solve or understand concepts.”

She also said she will be joining the Aggie Corps of Cadets as an undergraduate and it is through that organization that she hopes she will stay focused.

“By joining the corps of cadets, discipline is implemented, which will be for my benefit during undergraduate studies at Texas A&M,” she said.

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