Andy, hard-working student. Andy, hard-working student.

Coahuila 12-year-old most diligent student

Andy's strategy: pay attention, do your homework and don't miss any classes

A 12-year-old boy from Saltillo, Coahuila, can claim the title of Mexico’s most diligent student after winning first place in the national Children’s Knowledge Olympiad.

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Andrés Emiliano de la Garza Rosales, a talented sixth-grade student at the Benito Juárez Primary School, learned the good news via a WhatsApp message from his teacher while he was playing with his mom’s phone.

“I just laughed and passed it to my dad, he saw it, smiled and gave it to my mom. She was surprised, she didn’t believe what my teacher was saying,” Andy — as his family calls him — said in an interview with the newspaper El Universal.

Andy triumphed in the national phase of the competition after first being named as one of five finalists from his home state.

Nationwide, more than 2 million students participated in the contest.

Despite his lofty achievement, Andy makes it clear that he doesn’t consider himself a “child genius” or extremely gifted.

“I’m normal, I really like mathematics, history and English,” he says, the latter a particular strength as he has studied the language since his first year of primary school.

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However, he concedes that he is not quite as successful in Spanish and art.

Andy remembers that his teacher Nancy notified him in the middle of April that he had been awarded first place in the state and asked him his opinion about continuing to the national stage.

His response was a short and decisive, “It’s ok.”

With a month until the national contest, Andy began a rigorous preparation phase during which his teacher gave him daily knowledge tests.

However, he doesn’t attribute his achievement to any secret, saying instead that the key to his success is paying attention to what the teacher says, doing his homework and not missing any classes.

Andy is not the only exceptional member of his family.

Both his parents are chemical engineers with masters’ degrees and have achieved prizes and other recognition throughout their careers. They know the effort that is required to achieve and have aimed to instill the value of education in their children.

“Their only duty is to study [and] do it well. For you, that’s the only inheritance we’re going to leave you, ” the couple revealed.

Their advice has paid off.

Andy’s oldest sibling Lorena is a medical student while his 15-year-old brother Carlos will soon receive a medal for academic excellence at his middle school.

Andy says the best part of his win will be meeting Governor Rubén Moreira and President Enrique Peña Nieto. He plans to ask them to put a roof over the school yard because students are not allowed out to play in hot weather.

No doubt he is also looking forward to having his very own cell phone and not having to borrow his mom’s. One of the family rules is that none of the kids is allowed their first phone until they enter middle school.

“It’s not long until we’ll give him one,” Andy’s proud mother commented.

Few are likely to argue it’s not a gift well-deserved.

Andy says that he doesn’t know exactly what he will study in the future but might like to pursue mechatronics, robotics or something related to technology.

Source: El Universal (sp)

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    Congratulations to the Garza family; they have three children to be proud of. However, as I look at the picture of the smiling young man sitting at his computer, I cannot help but feel concern for all of the Andys in Mexico who are overlooked for lack of a personal computer and dependable internet service. Progress is always painfully slow.

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