Andrew Zaldivar and AJ Melendez were recognized at the 24th Annual Hispanic Student Recognition Ceremony on Saturday, April 25th at Dover Downs.
Andrew Zaldivar was named Delaware's outstanding Outstanding Hispanic Student of the Year at the high school level. Zaldivar is currently a junior at Cab Calloway High School, where he maintains a current GPA of 4.421. Described as a “natural leader and the best his generation has to offer” this young man excels in everything he does, has already been recruited by top universities (including Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania) for his excellence in academics and football. Aside from his success in the classroom, which includes maintaining A’s in several AP and Honors courses, he has lettered in football, lacrosse and wrestling. A member of the Blue Hen 1st Team All-conference for football, he has placed first in the 189 lb weight class at the Blue Hen Conference Wrestling Tournament, is captain of the football and lacrosse teams and serves as Student Body Vice-President. In addition to his academic and athletic awards, he has also been recognized for his work in cinematography and is an active volunteer in his community.
A. J. Melendez won the Athletics Award for New Castle County, and received honorable mention in the category of Arts for New Castle County. Melendez is currently a senior at Cab Calloway School of the Arts and has a currently holds a 3.75 GPA. For the past 7 years, he has been a voice major and has performed in many musicals such as “Les Miserables” and “West Side Story.” He even won third place out of thousands of vocalists on the nationally televised program “American Idol Juniors” in 2003! This year’s Honorable Mention recipient is also very involved in academics and sports, runs track and field and plays for the varsity football team. When he’s not busy with school and sports, he volunteers as the head coach of a powder puff football team and serves as a mentor at the West Center City Childcare Center. His peers have recognized him for the Outstanding Hispanic Achievement Award, saying they are “consistently impressed by his dedication and commitment to becoming the best that he can be,” and describe him as “a well-rounded young man who has certainly proven himself as a scholar, an artist, an athlete and a wonderful human being.” He will also be the first of four siblings to go on to college, and plans to major in business or sports management this fall.
The Hispanic Student Recognition Program (HSRP) is hosted by the Latin American Community Center, Inc. (LACC). This special event recognizes and acknowledges high achieving Hispanic Delaware students in academics, sports, school-community service, science-technology and the arts.
All nominees who attend the ceremony are presented with a commemorative medal and category winners are also recognized. Only two high school and two middle school students (female and male) are selected as Outstanding Hispanic Student of the Year. These students must excel in all categories to receive cash prizes, trophies, and medals.