Texas S.B.O.E. awards CTHS senior with Student Hero Award

Texas S.B.O.E. awards CTHS senior with Student Hero Award
Posted on 05/08/2019
Student Hero
story written by Reesha Brown
video produced by Dwight Henson

PISD Communications

Barbara Cargill, a member of the Texas State Board of Education, paid a surprise visit to CTHS senior Eduardo Verastegui to honor him as the State Board of Education’s 2019 Student Hero of the Year.

Verastegui, who was under the pretense that he was going to be interviewed for a senior spotlight series, was presented with an honorary plaque, a check for $200 and balloons to mark the special occasion.

Joining the celebration was Superintendent Dr. DeeAnn Powell, district and campus administrators, and his AV classmates and teacher Andrea Nguyen. 

The YouTube star and soon-to-be graduate is no stranger to being in front of the camera. He has amassed an impressive following of nearly 400,000 viewers through his YouTube channel, where he creates videos, documenting life in the U.S.

"I've always liked to inspire other people. I've always liked to have an impact in other people's lives," said Verastegui. "It means the world to me, being able to give back to my community, doing what I feel the most passionate about-- which is making videos and sharing my stories to spread positivity. There is a lot of negativity in this world and we can each do our part, as little as it is or as big as it is."

Beyond video production, Verastegui also finds time to give back. He’s volunteered for Sarah’s House, the McDonald’s Texas Invitational Basketball Tournament, and at various summer camps.

In honor of Verastegui’s accomplishments and volunteer efforts, he was named the Student Hero by the State Board of Education. He is the first student in Pasadena ISD to earn the award. Out of 15 Texas State Board districts, he is the only student for District Eight to be chosen for the recognition. 

"I hope that people who watch his YouTube channel, or have the honor and privilege of meeting Eduardo in person take to heart what his message is," said Cargill. "Eduardo's purpose is to inspire-- and that's a very different message. He strives to be very uplifting, inspirational and positive to others. Students like Eduardo can be an inspiration to all of us-- even to us adults."

Cargill's decision to honor Verastegui with the award was inspired in part by the Not Your Average Kid video feature on Verastegui, produced earlier this year.