Gina Arellano ’11


Pine Ridge, South Dakota


In the top five of her class, Gina Arellano has maintained a 4.0 grade point average throughout her four years of high school. On top of her outstanding grades, Gina has also been very active in volleyball and basketball. Recently awarded the Gates Millennium Scholarship, Gina plans on attending South Dakota State University where she hopes to major in nursing.

Asked and Answered

Now tell me: Why do you plan on majoring in nursing after high school?

I have always wanted to be a nurse…ever since I was little. It all just seems very interesting to me. My ultimate goal would be to complete my education all the way through graduate school and then return home to help my people. I especially would love to work with the children because I love children and I am certain that I could be happy spending my life helping kids.

You have chosen South Dakota State University as you college of choice. How did you come to that decision?

I always knew that I wanted to attend one of South Dakota’s in-state schools because I am very, very close with my family. I wanted to go somewhere far enough to focus myself toward a degree but close enough to where I could see my family on occasion. After researching my possibilities, I found that South Dakota State University had an excellent nursing program and everything just seemed to fit after that.

What was it like playing sports all four years in high school?

It was great. I remember when I was just a freshman, I was working really hard at practice so that I could play and hopefully get better. Then about half way through the season, our coach asked my teammate Billie and I to step up and play on the varsity team. I was so excited and happy that I just began to work as hard as I could. It was like he was commending us for all our hard work and it felt great that it didn’t go unnoticed. After that moment, I felt like I was motivated to push myself through anything and I was really excited to play sports.

How did you manage your schoolwork with your athletics?

It was hard at times but it was worth it. It took me a lot of late nights of studying and piles of homework just to make sure I was consistently on top of my schoolwork. Of course it’s what is expected of me at school, but also because my parents wanted my to do well in everything I do. I worked hard everyday but I am glad and very grateful now because it all paid off.

So what will you miss about Red Cloud?

The community. I like how it is small and everyone knows everyone. I will miss the teachers especially. The teachers are always encouraging us to do our best and they work really hard everyday to prepare us for college. I am certain that I will basically miss everyone, especially my classmates. Everyone here is close and I will miss that.

What was your favorite class at Red Cloud?

Math. I really enjoy math. It’s challenging at times but my teacher Clay [Leonard] always seems to make it interesting.

So what would you say to current juniors who will be seniors next year?

Responsibility and hard work pays off. Don’t procrastinate! Start looking for your college and scholarship application deadlines now. Don’t slack off your senior year but have fun and enjoy your last year at Red Cloud.

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