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Alejandro Puentes Muiños

I am Alejandro, a 16 year old teenager born and raised in a small town where the beach and its waves accompanied me since I was just a little boy. I grew up surrounded by that charming feeling of togetherness so characteristic of small towns, and now, after 16 years, I am about to say goodbye to this loving place, as the doors of a new stage are opening for me: the University.

Yes, next year will be my last one in High School, but it is also in these moments of nostalgia and imminent change that new hopes appear and the desire for new challenges arises. In this context, the Dual Diploma Program came into my life. It was a quiet summer night when I was exploring new possibilities… that’s when I stumbled upon this opportunity. When I told my parents that I wanted to become a simultaneous student in the U.S. and Spain, doubts arose. How was I going to combine my already demanding studies in Spain, my love for the piano and my life as a pole vaulting athlete with something like this? At the beginning, I agreed with them, but then I thought… what would this world be without a little craziness? And that is how this adventure began. It has only taken me this first year to realize that joining the Dual Diploma Program has been one of the best decisions I have ever made.

Since then, I have started to benefit from everything this program has to offer as a student, and most importantly, as a whole. My English skills have improved exponentially, I have explored exciting content that I would never have learned about if it weren’t for these new subjects, but most of all… I cherish the amazing people I have met along the way, because the Dual Diploma Program is so much more than just assignments: it is an international educational community with the power to bring all kinds of people together. From my Global Teacher, remains for me the great love she has for her work as a teacher and the brilliance with which she carries it out, always making us all feel united and valued with her closeness, as if we were all in the same classroom face to face despite being on different continents. From my Program Director and Academic Coach at my school, remains for me the enormous commitment she has with her students and the unique bond she creates with them, always making us feel close even though we are hundreds of kilometers apart. And from my colleagues, remains for me the new friendships we have forged and the unconditional support we give each other to continue thriving in the program and on a personal level. Because for me, this first year in the Dual Diploma Program has been about the people, the great people who come together in this adventure.

Earlier I mentioned that a new stage was coming and you may be wondering how this story continues. Well, if you ask me about the future… I will tell you that there is no answer yet. The only thing I know for sure is that next year I will continue with my 2nd Year of the Spanish Baccalaureate and my 2nd Year of the Dual Diploma, but for the rest, it is uncertain. My wishes for the future have ranged from becoming a politician, to a neurosurgeon, to a teacher… and many more to come. I guess it will be the eternal adolescent dilemma, although I feel that I will most likely end up pursuing a career in STEM. However, what is really clear to me is that I want to continue learning and educating myself for the rest of my life.

I still have a lot to experience and many things to discover, and that is what excites me the most. Infinite gratitude to the Dual Diploma team for finding me worthy of this honorable recognition and infinite gratitude to you too, for having made it this far.

“These are the adventures worth living, and now I know it.”