Outstanding Graduate: Rocio Ibanez, Woodrow Wilson HS

Posted by MONICA CARAZO on 6/6/2019 11:35:00 AM

First in her family to finish high school and headed to Dartmouth College

Rocio from Wilson HS working on a project

For four years, Rocio Ibanez has never missed a day of school at Woodrow Wilson High School Administration of Justice and Law Magnet. For four years, her grade point average has remained above 4.0. She’s also maintained perfect attendance and exceptional grades, including in honors classes despite handling major responsibilities at home, caring for two younger siblings, running the household and doing chores while her mother works long hours as a housekeeper.

She will head to Dartmouth College in the fall to double major in human science/public policy and sociology/political science.

Rocio will be the first in her family to go to college. She also will be the first in her family to graduate from high school.

“I am scared of leaving home and the environment that I’m used to,” Rocio said. “However, it’s a good opportunity to learn.” She is also afraid of the cold and snowy weather in New Hampshire, where the Ivy League university is located. “I am definitely scared because I am from California, and not used to that weather.”

Dartmouth was her first choice. “Even though I only visited once, I knew where I wanted to go. What I really liked about the school and students was their modesty. I felt welcomed and there was diversity on the campus,” Rocio said.

Despite shouldering adult responsibilities and earning high grades, Rocio also participated in extracurricular activities in athletics, school clubs and community service. She played on the Junior Varsity Girls Basketball team, and was co-captain. Since her freshman year, she has participated in the mock trial competition, serving as the prosecuting attorney and also the defense attorney and earning the MVP award twice for her outstanding performance. She has served on the Los Angeles Mayor’s Youth Council, representing Boyle Heights. And, she is currently the Associated Student Body leader for the school’s leadership program.

Outside of school, she has volunteered to coach elementary-age children at her local recreation center, and she has tutored younger students at the local library.

Rocio is a hard-working, vibrant, insightful, self-driven, determined, resilient young woman, according to her guidance counselor. 

Rocio has a message for her younger siblings: Never be discouraged by rejection or failure, and step out of your comfort zone!

Even if that means braving 10 degree weather in New Hampshire.

Rocio from Wilson HS painting