Kevin Galvan – Fillmore High School Resilient Student Headed “Wherever the River Takes Me”

Editor’s Note: We will publishing Ventura County Office of Education’s “Shinning Stars” from the High School Class of 2017 over the next few days. 

Imagine coming to a new school in a new country where you don’t speak the language. That was a reality for Kevin Galvan, who enrolled as a freshman at Fillmore High School after moving from Baja California, Mexico. “It was a big change because it was totally new. At first I was scared and wondering how I would deal with all this,” he remembers.

He says his first priority was to learn English. He credits English language development teacher Leigh Maroney with motivating him to master the language so he could express himself in his new home. Perhaps an even bigger motivator came from his fellow students, and another teacher came from an unexpected source. “My friends would sometimes laugh about my accent, so I started watching movies in English and listening to music in English,” he says. “Now that I can understand, my friends don’t laugh anymore.”

Throughout high school, Kevin was active in sports, including soccer, football and volleyball. In the fall, he plans to play football for College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita. He wants to study kinesiology so he can prepare for a career connected to sports, which is his passion.

But he’s also ready for life’s unexpected turns like the one that brought him from Mexico to Ventura County four years ago. “In Mexico, we say ‘I’ll go wherever the river takes me.’ You need to do that because you never know where it can take you from there.”

“He’s a very special young man,” says Kevin’s high school counselor Ronda Reyes-Deutsch. “He has a very positive outlook on life and he’s very flexible in figuring out how to overcome whatever roadblocks come his way. That’s what makes him so extremely special and inspiring to many of his peers.”

Kevin Galvan

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