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Class of 2022: Aurora's top graduates persevered through tough years

Pandemic couldn't derail top students
aurora 2022 seniors.jpg
Posted at 10:05 AM, May 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-20 12:05:42-04

AURORA, Colo. — Three of the top students in Aurora Public Schools’ graduating class of 2022 are proof that hard work pays off. Despite the pandemic and other challenges, all three remained dedicated to academics and are now graduating at the top of their class.

Vista PEAK Preparatory valedictorian Michael Agsam said he had to push through the hard stuff.

“My goal wasn’t really to be the top student, it was just to keep on pushing myself as much as I could with the classes I was taking,” Agsam said.

That same determination is how Alondra Villalobos Vargas was able to finish her associates degree on top of completing high school. She credits her mom for instilling in her the importance of education.

“It’s hard to let her down so I feel like that’s always in the back of my head that I have to do good because of her,” Villalobos Vargas said.

Villalobos Vargas said she’s proud to be the child of immigrants from Mexico, but feels it puts even more pressure on her to succeed.

Vista PEAK Preparatory graduate Oludurotimi “Timi” Ola is also the child of immigrants from Nigeria. He said his family supported him but also expected a lot from him.

“Nothing’s going to be given to you, so you gotta go and work hard for it,” he said.

Ola’s hard work paid off. He’s a recipient of the prestigious Daniels Fund scholarship. He’ll attend Colorado School of Mines in the fall to study engineering. Villalobos Vargas plans to study business and marketing at the University of Colorado Denver. Agsam will study engineering at Notre Dame.

After four years that brought challenges unique to this generation, all three are ready to move on to the next chapter.

“I’m feeling sad that I’m leaving my friends and teachers here, but I’m also feeling so excited that I get to finally move on with my life and finally explore the world,” Agsam said.