Lynwood High School senior Alexa Escamilla is preparing for higher education by doing what she loves most - helping others. For Alexa, serving the community she loves has given her purpose amid the uncertainty of the world around her over the past year.
“In some ways, distance learning has given me more ways to be useful,” Alexa said. “I do miss in-person classes and creating those connections, but there are other ways to connect people.”
Alexa, who is among the top of her LHS class with a 4.6 GPA, is targeting Columbia University and UCLA as two prospective schools to attend this fall. One would keep her closer to her family, the other would allow her to venture to the East Coast and join the Ivy League as LHS 2020 graduate Jaren Johnson (Dartmouth) did before her.
During an interview with Columbia last month, Alexa was asked what she would potentially bring to the university, and after rattling off extracurricular interests and achievements she summarized the core of her motivation.
“I just want to help people,” she said.
Alexa does more than her share of assisting others. She helps run a student-led tutoring service that assists K-8 students with their classwork from Monday through Friday. This is in addition to her own advanced studies schedule and volleyball training. But for an aspiring pediatric dentist like Alexa, tutoring is a good training ground.
“Being able to mentor younger people will help me in working with children in my career,” she said. “I get to see how they interact with adults and what makes them feel comfortable.”
Alexa has always had an eye for the future. A native of Lynwood who attended Rosa Parks Elementary and Hosler Middle School, she always took a special interest in her visits to the dentist where she would request to try out the dental tools and technology. She didn’t even mind when she was forced to get braces her sophomore year as it gave her another glimpse into oral care.
At Lynwood High, Alexa has also been involved in Link Crew - a program that prepares freshmen for high school through events and mentorship.
Inspired by the journey of her mother, who is from Sinaloa, Mexico, and her father from El Salvador, Alexa said she is also motivated by the Lynwood High School banners that hang on Imperial Highway and feature top students and their GPA each year. She said her mother always notices them and wonders aloud whether Alexia will be included – she most certainly will.
“Alexa represents the boundless potential of Lynwood as well as the caretaking spirit of the community,” LUSD Superintendent Gudiel R. Crosthwaite said. “We are proud and excited to be a part of her successful journey as she moves forward to college and beyond.”