Del Valle ISD graduating senior shares journey from Central America to Central Texas

Andrea Tablada's story isn't like most students at Del Valle ISD; she immigrated from Nicaragua during her freshman year of high school.

"My dad died when I was three years old. So, it's always been my mom, my sister and I. My mom has always been a single parent. And she came from Nicaragua, Central America, and she came a year before I did," said Tablada.

Like most newcomers, adapting to American culture was a challenge, but with the help of Del Valle ISD, she says she felt like she was able to call Central Texas home.

"I was part of seven to eight clubs here in Del Valle High School. I have played varsity basketball for two years. I played soccer for one year. I was part of the National Honor Society for two years, and my last year, I was president. I was part of the Air Force junior ROTC program for three years," says Tablada.

Four years after coming to the U.S., she graduated from Del Valle High School in the top ten percent of her class.

"So, I decided since my freshman year, I wanted to accomplish something. So, I [was] always trying to turn everything on time… just trying to do my best in every test," said Tablada.


On her graduation day, she wanted to do something to honor her mom. She decorated her graduation cap with a special message to tell her thank you for being there every step of the way. 

"One detail I did for my mom, since there's not a lot I can do for her, but this was a little something, and it says, ‘For my mom who came here with nothing, and she gave me everything’," said Tablada.

Tablada hopes her story will inspire others who also immigrated to the United States.

"I will say it's going to be hard, and sometimes you feel like you really want to give up, but don't do it because the feeling you get to feel after every night, they say to study everything that you do to just understand the language is going to be worth it," said Tablada.

This fall, Tablada will be attending Texas State University studying health science with the goal of becoming a trauma doctor.