HSPVA senior’s experience as a fine arts student has left indelible mark

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It’s a bittersweet last first day of school for Kinder HSPVA senior Jorge Cordova. On one hand, he is excited to see his friends after summer break, but on the other, this will be their last year together. As a theater student who plans to be an actor, Cordova is thankful for his experience at the arts magnet high school.

“HSPVA has made a huge impact on my life,” Cordova said. “It has already opened doors for me both inside and outside of school. My teachers have always encouraged us to dream big, and I am already living my dream.”

It’s been just Cordova and his mom since he was 3 years old. “My mom is from Tampico, Mexico, and I was born here in Houston. She has been both mother and father to me, and she has done an amazing job. She has been by my side through some tough times, and I don’t know what I would have done without her.” Cordova’s mother, Alex Barron, has her own small housecleaning service. 

Cordova begins the year in the old HSPVA building, but after the winter holiday break, students will return to school in the new Kinder HSPVA downtown. “Seeing the impact of the new building on students is going to be amazing,” he said. Cordova still has not visited the new high school.

It was hugs all around as Cordova began the day in the school’s black box with more than 100 of his fellow theater students. After their emotional reunions, the students met their “freshman buddies.” It’s a tradition at HSPVA for seniors to share advice with new and returning students. Word of wisdom from the seniors included “Be open to trying everything,” “Be kind, stay healthy, have fun!” and “Focus on the positive.”

When his turn came, Cordova gave his freshman buddy, Damon, his favorite book, because he knows that Damon likes to write. “Be yourself,” Cordova told him. “It doesn’t matter where you came from. You can realize your dreams.”

After meeting with his fellow theater students, Cordova spent the morning in math, senior capstone, and AP biology classes, which was interrupted by a fire drill. After lunch, he attended theater classes.

Next year, Cordova plans to pursue an acting career in New York City or California. He would like to attend a four-year college, but he will need scholarships to fund college. He has already talked to his mother about possibly leaving Houston, and he says she is okay with that.

“She has always encouraged me to pursue my dreams,” Cordova said.