Burien student selected as Young Ambassador for Smithsonian Program

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A local student and graduate of Burien’s Big Picture High School and new to Highline Community College – Derrick DeHerrera (pictured above, right) – was selected as a Young Ambassador for this year’s Smithsonian Latino Center’s Young Ambassador Program.

DeHerrera is among 22 students from across the country chosen to participate in this competitive program, which is supported by the Ford Motor Company Fund. Hundreds of students applied, and Derrick was the only applicant selected from Washington state. The program teaches recent high school graduates about arts, humanities and science and prepares them to be our nation’s next generation of leaders.

As part of the program, he spent a week in Washington, D.C., touring the nation’s capital and learning about the work implemented by Smithsonian Institutions across the country.

For the second part of the leadership development program, Derrick is participating in a month-long internship at the Museum of Flight in Seattle.

“Progression is probably the most important thing for me. I feel that’s what success is,” DeHerrera said. “I always want to do something different from what I’ve done in the past; I love challenging myself with something new. As a kid I knew I never wanted to follow in anybody’s footsteps or shadows. Growing up I learned that I wanted to be my own person and accomplish my own dreams. I didn’t want to be like that person or that person; I wanted to just be me. That’s the kind of message I always tried to spread through any kind of work I do. Kids, Teen, even adults sometimes feel as if they can’t do something on their own, or they’re not good enough to accomplish something. I being part of this big community want to set the example that it is possible to fight for your own passion and your own dreams. Some people settle for what others say they should be satisfied with and I’m not buying it. I don’t need people to think for me. I’ve never been that way and don’t ever want to be that way. I always feel like I need to be that prime example, not only for my friends and family but any community I am a part of.”

This coming fall DeHerrera will be attending Highline Community College for a year, and then transferring to a college/university where he plans to obtain his Bachelor’s Degree.

“However, I won’t stop there,” he added. “I plan on attending law school for another three years to pursue a career in law as a district attorney, then work my way up to be a judge.”

Congrats Derrick and good luck!

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