Spirit of Sinsinawa Award – Araeya Huerta ’23

Each month during the school year, Dominican High School faculty & staff selects one student for the Spirit of Sinsinawa Award. The Spirit of Sinsinawa Award is given to an individual who goes above and beyond expectations and exemplifies Dominican’s five core values of truth, compassion, justice, community and partnership. 

The Spirit of Sinsinawa Award recipient for October is Araeya Huerta ’23. Araeya is a honor roll student, a member of the Fuego Latino Club, Black Heritage Club, Multicultural Club, Knight Squad and plans to run on the Dominican track & field team this spring.

Araeya Huerta '23

Q: What was your reaction when you find out you were the Spirit of Sinsinawa Award recipient for October?

AH: I was pretty excited to be selected for the Spirit of Sinsinawa Award. I transferred to Dominican High School last year and didn’t really know what the award meant. Once someone explained it to me, I was happy to get this honor. I always try to show school spirit and lead by example. It feels good to know that I am making a positive impact at the school even though I have only been here for a short amount of time. 

Q: The teacher who nominated you said you demonstrated leadership skills and showed how to be a great role model for younger students. Is that a trait you’ve always had and how important is it for you to lead by example?  

AH: I used to not be like that. Being a transfer student, I understand how scary it is going to a new school and not knowing anyone. I wanted to reach out to the students who are new to Dominican and let them know that they have someone to talk to. Trying to help out other people and make them feel comfortable. I hope it starts a chain reaction and next year they will be the ones to help a new student.  

Q: What Dominican teacher has made the biggest impact on you and why?

AH: Definitely Mrs. Lueck. Because I transferred to Dominican as a junior, I wasn’t able to run track. I talked to Mrs. Lueck about it a lot and she helped me through the process. She always had great advice and helped me understand that everything will work out. It was nice to have someone to talk to. This is a great example of why I want to return the favor for someone else. It made me realize that I could help other students. Just having someone to talk to can make you feel better. 

Q: How has Dominican helped you grow as a person in and out of the classroom?

AH: In the classroom, Dominican has helped me be more focused with my studies. Outside of the classroom, I got more involved with clubs and activities. I’ve been able to meet a lot of people. Dominican has helped me realize that people don’t always notice the mistakes you make and you just have to move on from it. You can’t base your personality off of what people want you to be. 

Q: What advice would you give to your peers and the next generation of Dominican students?

AH: I would say be yourself and be friends with everybody. Be open and reach out to people. You never know what someone is going through. One kind gesture can change someone’s day.     

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