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Alex Gutierrez On Life After High School: 'It's Gonna Be Up To Me'

Lara Solt
KERA News special contributor
Alex Gutierrez with classmates at the senior banquet at International Leadership of Texas in Garland.

Alex Gutierrez struggled with math — and that kept her from going to her dream school. She just wrapped up her senior year at a Garland charter school where students learn English, Spanish and Chinese. She plans to stay home for a few years going to community college, but she has big plans for the future.

The senior banquet at International Leadership of Texas in Garland is the last big get-together before graduation. Alex Gutierrez and her friends sit around a table talking, laughing and eating fried chicken, mashed potatoes and green beans. The speakers blast Snow Patrol and Andra Day.

Alex is trying to process what she’s feeling – normal emotions for a teenager who’s ending one phase of her life and starting another.

“It literally feels overwhelming, because it all feels like it’s happening so fast,” she says. “Even though when I started the school year, it seemed like graduation wasn’t coming fast enough.”

Read the entire story about Alex — she's one of seven North Texas teens we've been following since 8th grade in our American Graduate series, Class of '17.

Stella M. Chávez is KERA’s immigration/demographics reporter/blogger. Her journalism roots run deep: She spent a decade and a half in newspapers – including seven years at The Dallas Morning News, where she covered education and won the Livingston Award for National Reporting, which is given annually to the best journalists across the country under age 35.