Hialeah High School Student Sets Pace for High Achievers

"We need to remind ourselves that our voice is just as important as anybody else's voice, that anything is possible."

Ashley Rodriguez Hialeah HS
NBC 6

You know that kid who's always out in front, setting the pace for high achievers? At Hialeah Senior High School, that kid is Ashley Rodriguez.

"She's definitely at the top, she's one of the best I've seen in my career," said college advisor Christina Orfely, who sees students head to the Ivy League every year.

"It's been an interesting ride, exploring all my passions in high school," Ashley said.

She does a ton of community service, involved in everything from DECA (she's the president) to Key Club and golf.

Yes, golf. She took up the sport almost as a joke two years ago when the coach asked her to give it a try. Now she's captain of the school's golf team.

Ashley also maintains straight A's with a loaded academic schedule.

"I think that I've learned two main things: time management is definitely one of them, and patience is the other," Ashley said.

"It's incredible, I always tell her, I don't know how you do it," Orfely said.

Did I mention that Ashley is a Posse scholar? She's got a full scholarship to Syracuse University where she'll be going in the fall, and she's done all of this while basically being the mother figure to her four siblings at home.

"Yeah, kind of, it's like I have my own children, in a way," Ashley said, laughing.

Her Cuban immigrant parents work full time, so every day, Ashley is in charge of the kids after school. Their ages range from one to nine.

But don't call it a burden, Ashley says she does it out of love.

"Life hands you cards that we know that we can deal with, and we just have to remind ourselves that we can deal with, and we just have to remind ourselves that although we've been put in these obstacles, nothing is itself impossible," said Ashley.

Ashley's friends see her as a role model of perseverance. It's not just the issues at home, it's the fact that Ashley has overcome depression and anxiety as well.

"With everything that she has to do, I think very few people would be able to pull it off," said Amanda Gonzalez, one of Ashley's classmates.

"Especially when someone has been able to go through so much and grow because of it? I think that's the most inspiring part," added Rossana Villaverde, one of Ashley's oldest friends.

After college, Ashley wants to be a diplomat, serving the United States overseas. She believes she can make a positive impact, one person, one relationship at a time.

"We need to remind ourselves that our voice is just as important as anybody else's voice, that anything is possible," Ashley said.

She proves that philosophy true every day.

Contact Us