Joshua Camacho

Hooks High School

When Joshua Camacho, a Hook High School senior, opened his acceptance letter to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.), he was overcome with the weight of that moment. This accomplishment was the culmination of everything he had worked for since childhood. “I couldn’t help but feel like all of my efforts had led up to that moment; all the qualities of hard work, tenacity, discipline, and character I gleaned from my experiences built the foundation for my ability to perform well in my school. Even my other treasured accomplishments contributed to my acceptance. My recognition as a Questbridge College Prep Scholar helped me to become later selected as a National Match Finalist, which allowed me to apply to M.I.T. through my Questbridge application,” Joshua says. “Also, my acceptance into the MITES program led to gaining crucial skills that I applied during the application process and excellent final course evaluations from my instructors. All this and much more led me to be accepted into a university I could only dream of attending as a kid.”

Growing up, Joshua’s parents, Juan and Maria, modeled the work ethic and determination that have pushed Joshua to excel. “Ever since I can remember, my parents have worked tirelessly to ensure my sister, Ashley, and I had food on the table, clothes on our backs, and a roof over our heads. My sister probably knows me the best out of anyone in the world, and I couldn’t have made it this far without her support,” Joshua says. “I also absolutely adore my dog, Zeke, and cat, Mr. Kitty, and I know they always have my back when I need a fluffy shoulder to lean on. I am immensely grateful to my family, a debt I can only dream of repaying.” 

Outside school, Joshua helps his parents at their small food shop, El Rey. Before Joshua became busy with extracurricular school activities, he used to spend every weekday evening there. “Even though I’m not there every day, the lessons I learned there remain. Besides being taught practical life skills like cooking and cleaning, I was also indirectly taught valuable principles that served as the foundation of my current character,” Joshua says. “Growing up in an environment where I witnessed my parents’ enormous work ethic firsthand was central to my own development. Additionally, I learned to adopt qualities like patience, responsibility, and pride in my work that continue to serve me well today.”

Joshua has also learned many life lessons through his time at Hooks ISD. He is currently the president of the Mu Alpha Theta and National Honor Society chapters and serves as the Student Council treasurer. When he first joined these clubs, he did not have any significant motivation to do so, but today, he is truly glad that he did. “Through these clubs, I learned about working well with others and the importance of contributing to your community,” Joshua says. “I also participate on a few of our academic UIL teams; they provide a challenge outside of the classroom, remind me that I always have more to learn, and stoke my competitive spirit. Above all, these clubs have allowed me to forge irreplaceable memories with my peers, teammates, and friends.”

Joshua also participates on several athletic teams, including cross country, powerlifting, and track teams. “Joining athletics during my freshman year was definitely a huge step outside of my comfort zone, and I couldn’t explain why I took it. Simply staying in the class was a huge challenge the first year; however, I am genuinely grateful that I stuck with it,” Joshua says. “Over the past few years, athletics has helped me improve physically and mentally, instilling qualities like discipline, humility, and tenacity.” 

Along with opportunities to excel in school and pursue his interests, Joshua says that Hooks ISD provides students with incredible teachers, coaches, counselors, and staff. “They have all played a huge role in my development in high school, and it wouldn’t be an overstatement to say they were pivotal on my journey to higher education. When applying to scholarships, programs, and eventually college, I was met with more support than I could hope for, whether it was for recommendation letters, documents, or just advice,” Joshua says. “I am more grateful than I am able to express in words.”

Besides his teachers, family, and coaches, one other group of people in Joshua’s life continues to inspire him: his friends. “Out of all my brushes with luck, I was most fortunate to have been placed in an environment with such remarkable people. Though I may be biased, I firmly believe that they are people of the utmost quality, whether that be due to their immense talent and skill, awe-inspiring work ethic, or sheer character,” Joshua says. “When surrounded by peers who invest a torrent of effort into areas they are passionate about, I find it impossible not to find myself doing the same. Though I won’t share names for privacy’s sake, I hope they know they hold inexhaustible amounts of my respect, gratitude, and care.”

Joshua’s support from his parents, sister, friends, teachers, and coaches resulted in the experiences that shaped him into a person of integrity, determination, and confidence. Due to these traits, he earned acceptance into the MITES Semester for the 2022 cohort. MITES Semester is a STEM/college preparation program by M.I.T. that is composed of two phases: the Academic Phase and the Enrichment Phase. The former takes place during the summer and consists of being placed into a core course and a project course—Joshua’s were science writing and architecture, respectively. The Academic Phase culminates in presenting their final projects in the Symposium. “As the first semester of senior year begins, the program transitions to the Enrichment Phase, providing students advice on college, essay reviews, mock interviews, and more,” Joshua says. “Above all, I am grateful for the awesome people I was able to meet, both peers and instructors.”

Through his varied and unique opportunities, Joshua has learned that you must often venture outside your comfort zone. Though it can be easier said than done, he thinks the effort and risk are definitely worth it. In fact, most of his favorite memories were from times when he explored outside his self-imposed bubble, like cliff jumping with friends and applying for the MITES program his junior year. “I’ve learned that becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable places me in the ultimate position for growth and learning,” Joshua says. “I’ve also learned to work earnestly and with the intent to improve. It can be easy to trudge along an assignment/activity or take a shortcut, especially under pressure. However, remaining disciplined in difficult situations rewards individuals with exceptional growth. In any situation, working with the intent to improve guarantees I won’t walk away empty-handed; at the very least, I’ll be a little stronger, faster, or wiser than I was before.” 

Joshua has also learned to appreciate the small things. His life can feel stressful and overwhelming with school, work, extracurriculars, and more. “However, I’ve found that recognizing the intrinsic beauty that life holds makes it a lot more bearable. Whether that’s going for a walk with my dog to smell the freshness of the air, listening to the chirping melodies of birds, watching the colors seep across the sky as the sun sets, or something else, appreciating the world that surrounds me is soothing and comforting,” Joshua says. “I hope to apply everything I’ve learned to college and my life beyond. I will keep pushing myself outside my comfort zone to find and seize opportunities, working earnestly to pursue growth, and cherish the delicate qualities of life to keep me grounded.”

Even though Joshua is looking forward to M.I.T. next year, his main goal is to enjoy life, no matter what comes next. “I plan on studying computer science or engineering to become skilled at what I’m passionate about; then I hope to have a successful career, a happy family, and repay those who have helped me thus far,” Joshua says. “It may seem mundane, vague, or even a bit cli·ché, but the idea of having lived an enjoyable life is more than enough to push me to fight to become a better person—one percent, one day at a time.”

One thought on “Joshua Camacho

  1. I like this Young Man’s whole Outlook ….and I’ve never met him ! Keep on Keeping on Joshua 🦋

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