Top Ranked Student Defies Boundaries - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

10/22/04-Tyler

Top Ranked Student Defies Boundaries

"We just moved here, from Mexico four years ago."

Julia Basurto, a senior at John Tyler High, started over when she came to America.

"It's so hard to be in a country where you don't speak the language, where you're not related with the customs," says Julia of her Journey to America.

But she learned English, for the most part on her own. And after only two years of speaking the language, she worked her way to the very top of the Junior class.

"Sometimes I spend the whole night, working and studying. I have to do pretty much, twice the work to understand language," says Julia.

One might think such a feat would earn bragging rights, but Julia says that is something she hasn't thought of.

"I don't feel like I'm smarter than anybody else. I just do my work. I'm more so proud of the fact, that I'm Hispanic. I want other Hispanics to say if she can go and rank in the top ten, then so can I," says Basurto.

In her senior year, Julia is currently in the top 5 percent of a class with 345 students. News, teachers say is not surprising.

"She's the most astounding student I've ever taught so far. I have no doubt she will accomplish great things, not just for herself, but for humanity," says Cherie King, a former teacher of Julia's.

With teachers and family supporting her, Julia says she plans to dream big.

"There's a woman who I admire a great deal, Rosario Marin. She was the Treasurer of the United States and she is Hispanic. I want to follow in her footsteps."

But chasing her goals hasn't always been easy.

"Sometimes I feel very weak, and it's difficult to get up in the morning. I just close my eyes and pray," says Julia.

"I'll be the lucky one to be able to say I knew her and I taught her," says Mrs. King.

"That's the reason. That's the engine that moves me everyday. So I can be somebody in life," Julia says.

Reporting: Braid Sharp bsharp@kltv.com

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