Dejaneria Valenzuela: Juggling Two Lives


Junior, Dejaneria Valenzuela, looks back, realizing there is a camera and smiles.

Naretzi Velasquez, Journalist

At an academically oriented school, Dejaneria Valenzuela is junior with a heart for athletics. Into her 5th year at University Preparatory, Valenzuela is well known for having good defense in basketball and good blocks in volleyball. Starting in her junior year, Valenzuela joined the volleyball team for the first time, an entirely different experience from Basketball which she joined her sophomore year.

In her sports, the number she wants every year is the number, a number she associates with good luck. “Number 15 is my godmother’s lucky number and she the woman that I look up to the most,” Valenzuela explains. However, besides her want for that number, she wasn’t able to get it for volleyball and instead was stuck with the number 17 but luckily was able to obtain 15 for basketball.

At her games, Valenzuela is cheered on by her two siblings, a 7-year old sister and a 13-year old brother. Since she isn’t home that often, she really doesn’t get to the chance to hang out with them after school. Because of her minimal interactions with her siblings, her little sister goes with the cheerleaders to cheer her sister on. Valenzuela shares that, “I love that she is cheering for me and like she sees me as a role model for her.”

Even though she rarely has time to do school work or have time to sleep, Dejaneria Valenzuela always has her work done on time and she on the court ready to go home with a win. Her schedule is going to school, having practice and going home to eat and sleep then going to practice for basketball. Most of her teachers don’t really know about her having to two practices a day. Mrs. Lovato explains, “Dejaneria always participates, she gets her work done on time, and she always does a really good job. She put forth her best effort, she never wastes time, so in class when I give time to do her work she makes sure she gets it done.”

Valenzuela has such a busy schedule that she has sleepless nights. She describes, “My day goes by so fast like I have no time at all and I feel like time just flies fast.” Her day consists of two practices a day and also as well as school work.

More than just a student or Athlete, Dejaneria Valenzuela is a dedicated go-getter who works passionately towards her future and as the year continues and hopes to have a chance to play in college.