HARKER HEIGHTS, Texas (KWTX) Harker Heights High School Principal Jorge Soldevila moved to Central Texas from his native Puerto Rico with his older brother, who was joining the Army, when he was 13 in search of better opportunities and ended up receiving more than he hoped for.
Soldevila says his English was limited, but says thanks to Killeen ISD's English as a Second Language program, he was able to get through school.
“I come from humble beginnings and I think that impacted who I am today,” Soldevila said.
After graduating from high school he decided to pursue a college degree, and he became the first person in his family to earn one.
Soldevila says his father cried the day of his graduation and that pushed him to pursue his master's degree.
Now Soldevila works in the community that helped him grow into the leader he is today and strives to serve as a role model to others.
“You know, I still celebrate my culture, but yet I've been able to take on a role model, position in which others can strive to, hopefully, be better than me, I don't want them to be just like me,” he said.
His message to his students is to remember always that they can achieve everything they set their minds to with a strong work ethic and determination.
“As a principal, I think…I'm in the right spot, to be able to kind of convey that to others to be the best they can be," Soldevila said.
Soldevila says he wouldn’t be where he is today without his strong family support system and says what he loves most about his Hispanic heritage is the value placed on family and family gatherings.
Soldevila says he has pride from where he came from and will always value his Puerto Rican roots but he is extremely thankful for the states for giving him more opportunities.
(To mark Hispanic Heritage Month KWTX is profiling Hispanic leaders in the community. This is the third in a series of stories)