Graduation photo of Marysol Ortega.

Marysol Ortega, senior at Thomas Jefferson High School, finished her senior year
after enduring a tornado and coronavirus. She didn’t have power for three weeks
but acknowledged that friends had lost their homes.
“At first I questioned everything,” she says. “I was like, ‘Why us?’ I took it personal.
It could have happened any other time, but it happened my senior year. On top of
the tornado happening. What’s next?”
In high school, she played varsity volleyball, cross country, track and field and
soccer. Her favorite class was English. She plans to attend the University of North
Texas. Her favorite class was English.
Her advice: “Stay strong. Life hits you when you least expect it. If you can’t do
anything about the situation, we need to let go. Stop wasting our time on things
that we have no control over. At first it was difficult for me to do that. I questioned
everything and everyone. That really affected me at first. I gave a lot of attention or
time to that instead of focusing on what’s ahead. I definitely would say, ‘Stay strong
and keep looking forward because everything happens for a reason. And I believe