Venegas’ hardworking nature scoring goals, grades


Vibha Viswanath

Coppell High School senior Mel Venegas received academic all-state award honors, recognizing student athletes who excel in class rank, GPA and SAT/ACT scores. Venegas is the president of CHS’s Eco Club and participates in sports medicine.

Sukirtha Muthiah, Staff Writer

With early morning practices and late-night game days, Sports Medicine is not what most would consider an easy course. For Coppell High School senior Mel Venegas, however, the idea of working with broken bones on a daily basis seemed like the perfect environment. 

After moving to Coppell in eighth grade from New Jersey, Venegas, like many other students, was overwhelmed with the process of selecting courses for the upcoming school year.

“Sports Medicine really gave me a sense of direction and purpose,” Venegas said. 

After coming into high school with no idea of what they wanted to do, Venegas was struggling to find their niche. While Venegas enjoyed conversation surrounding people and their passions, they never saw themself in any of those positions. 

“I remember seeing the Sports Medicine students when they came to Coppell Middle School North to talk to us and thinking, ‘wow, these people are cool’,” Venegas said. 

Venegas decided to give Sports Medicine a try and attended the annual summer training camp, which is implemented to introduce new members to the program and connect them with members both new and returning. 

“From that first day, I really got the idea that this is how I want to help the community,” Venegas said. “The people in this program put in a lot of time and effort, but it pays off.”

It was this same desire to help their community which prompted Venegas to join the CHS Eco Club after being in CHS9 GT Biology teacher Cathy Douglas’s class, who was very passionate about the environment and everything related to life. From taking mini class field trips to the nature center to learning about biology’s intricacies, Venegas developed a love for the environment and preserving and nurturing it. 

“Eco club gave me the chance to do things related to the environment and outside, which I love to do,” Venegas said, “It gives people the chance to sort of turn off their brains and apply themselves.”

CHS Eco Club sponsor and Anatomy and Physiology teacher Jodie Deinhammer explains how Venegas, as Eco Club president, has had a huge impact on the club and its members. 

“I have just never met anybody that has that kind of work ethic,” Deinhammer said. “I want other members to see that and recognize that the expectation is to have that kind of hard working mindset.”

Apart from having leadership positions in both Eco Club and Sports Medicine, Venegas was also recognized as an academic all-state student for sports medicine. This recognition requires athletes to maintain a grade-point average of a 90 or above in all classes to qualify. 

This requires exemplary time management and organization skills because being involved in the Sports Medicine pathway is the equivalent of participating in a varsity sport throughout the year. 

“Mel puts so much work and dedication towards everything they do,” CHS senior Brenna McKinzie said. 

McKinzie and Venegas met through sports medicine their freshman year. McKinzie explains how as a friend, watching Venegas achieve their goals and attain extremely high standards is a very rewarding experience. 

“They have just become more alive and they basically connect everything that they do to the fullest extent that they can,” McKinzie said. 

In addition to balancing all their activities at school, Venegas likes to find time to connect with their Costa Rican culture through cooking. 

“I feel like cooking is a great way to connect with your community even though you are far away,” Venegas said. 

Venegas explains how most Costa Ricans dishes are cooked using more hands-on appliances, so it requires more time and effort. 

“While you’re doing it, you’re struggling but you end up with something that tastes like home,” Venegas said. 

They like to connect this philosophy with all aspects of their life whether it be regarding school or just everyday tasks because it allows them to enjoy the end result even more. 

“It’s the type of thing that pays off to work hard at, which I love,” Venegas said.

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