Higley High School senior Alejandra Ochoa graduates in May as a standout musician in the Gilbert school’s performing arts programs.
Ochoa was a section leader in Higley High’s marching band, symphonic band and jazz band for three years. This position brought unique opportunities to guide peers, while challenging Ochoa to listen to competing ideas and be guided herself.
“You have to get everyone’s side on the table and really make it work so that everyone’s happy,” Ochoa said. “You have to be an example for people that are looking up to you. It can be hard, but there are always people around you that help you. Even if you are a leader, it takes the work effort of everyone.”
By truly taking her peers’ feedback into consideration, Ochoa said she improved her ability to deliver instructions with empathy.
“I think successes for me are building relationships with other people,” she said. “They just grow respect for you and learn to love the things that you do for them, the way that you’re trying to help them.”
As Ochoa graduates from Higley, she plans to bring the decision-making skills she gained as a leader in the musical realm into the real world.
“I’m not going to throw away those skills that I got here at Higley,” Ochoa said. “I’m going to use them and hopefully, it gets me far.”
While she won’t physically be at Higley High anymore, she will leave her leadership legacy behind. In addition to planning events for future students as the vice president of Band Council, she said she will continue to be “persistent with [her] efforts of trying to get people where they’re trying to go.”