Student in the Spotlight: Rolando Cajina Vega

Senior Rolando Cajina Vega comes to Portage, from Puerto Rico, for senior year

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Student in the Spotlight: Rolando Cajina Vega

Senior Rolando Cajina Vega working on a journal entry for his English class.

Senior Rolando Cajina Vega working on a journal entry for his English class.

Senior Rolando Cajina Vega working on a journal entry for his English class.

Senior Rolando Cajina Vega working on a journal entry for his English class.

Becca Rosado, Social Media Editor

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A diverse student body is one way to can describe Portage High School. Students come from all around the area, ranging from Chicago, to even places as far as Puerto Rico. Senior Rolando Cajina Vega is one of those students.

Cajina Vega moved from Bayamon, Puerto Rico two months ago. First living in Florida for one month before moving to Portage in July.

“I moved here to be with my mom,” Cajina Vega said, “ she left before the hurricane with her husband, I decided to [come here]  to be with my mom since I was missing her. Then I just told her ‘Let’s do this’ and so I’m finishing senior year here.”

Amongst moving to a whole new state, Cajina Vega now has to juggle a new language and a new learning style.

In Puerto Rico students learn through more test and exams rather than worksheets and homework. “ In Puerto Rico I had a lot of test and exams,” Cajina Vega said, “ here it’s not like that. I am learning more and understanding more than just [learning the] exam.”

Cajina expresses how different the learning styles can be but how he is excited for this new challenge.

“Over there [Puerto Rico] I learn for the exam,” Cajina Vega said, “ it’s like we [the students] know that we have to study for the exam and only that. But here it’s more homework and learning; the teachers teach more than just a 57 page exam.”

Cajina Vega says that he is excited to start his senior year and meet new people. As well as being close to his mother who he wasn’t living with.

“My mom moved [ to Florida] before the hurricane happened,” Cajina Vega said, “but once the hurricane happened and everything was being rebuilt I started missing her and moved.”

Although Cajina Vega’s mother was not affected by Hurricane Maria in September of 2017, he and a lot of his family was. Cajina Vega’s home in Puerto Rico is in a very mountainous area that got affected very badly from the hurricane.

“In my town [Bayamon] there’s a lot of trees and mountains,” Cajina Vega said, “and when it happened [the hurricane] my town was devastated. There was trees blocking roads and no power, water, or television.  I couldn’t communicate with my other family that didn’t live with me or any family that wasn’t living in my home.”

Cajina Vega recalls the situation as a devastation but he said that the island is recovering and his family already has.

“I meant people in my community I never knew,” Cajina Vega said, “we all worked together to help so we could see and hear from our families, it was really good.”

Cajina Vega’s family has now recovered since but he still wants to get the word out that there’s much to be done.

“I left to be with my mom, I was lucky.” Cajina Vega said, “But others weren’t, people left [this island] to start over I was lucky that we [his community] worked hard.”

Although Cajina Vega’s mind will always be with Puerto Rico, he is excited for a fresh and new start. As well he plans to stay with his mother for the remainder of senior year, with the hopes of attending college in the fall of 2019.

Camina Vega working in class with a group.