Benjamin Gastelum

Colegio El Camino 2012-2019

The International Baccalaureate program was the best thing to ever occur to my academic career. Not only did it help me develop important skills that I would be able to apply in my future studies, the lengthy and rigorous nature of the program pushed me beyond my limits of what I believed I was capable of...

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Prior to entering the diploma program, I was not aware of how valuable and enriching independent research and study could be. I was always lead to believe that the teacher was solely responsible for the students’ learning, later I discovered this not to be the case, and that my learning went far beyond the material covered in the classroom. Through the production of the internal assessments and the extended essay, I truly experienced what is was like to take information acquired through independent research and classroom learning, and apply it to meaningful projects.

However, not everything the IB taught me was directly related to my academics. With things such as the IB learner profile and the CAS program, I was able to look at my community with a completely new set of lens. I became more engaged with activities, I asked more questions, and for the first time in my life, I was reflecting on how I could make a difference, big or small, within my community. I learned the benefits of effective teamwork, and the importance of perseverance when dealing with long-term projects.

Graduating from the IB, gave me the most extraordinary sense of completion and fulfillment. Not only was I able to successfully finish the program and receive the diploma, I am now a more confident student. I will always look back on these 2 years fondly, and am very eager to see how I am able to apply my IB learnings to my future studies.

Regina Albornoz

2008-2020 Graduate, IB Diploma Recipient and Valedictorian

My name is Regina Albornoz Velázquez and I was a student at Colegio El Camino for 15 years, from K1 to Senior Year. I am extremely grateful to have been given the opportunity to study at an IB school as it completely changed me, not just as a student, but as a person...

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During my two years in the IBDP program I learned that my education goes beyond what we see in the classroom and that independent research is just as important. Before, I was totally dependent on my teachers to learn, and the IB approach to learning forced me to use other sources of information in order to have an objective and complete knowledge of my subjects. The syllabus encourages you to question what you are learning and to be a person who turns curiosity into motivation to inquire, learn, and use that knowledge to form your own conclusions and ideas. At the end of the diploma, I realized that my way of looking at the world, even outside of school, changed to one more critical and analytical.

However, the IB program develops you to become a well-rounded student, and this doesn't just involve academics. Through the CAS program, I had the opportunity to contribute to my community by teaching English in low-income schools, participating in environmental programs and being a member of the school's soccer team. All of this helped me improve the way I manage my time and I learned to find a balance between my social and academic life. Thanks to CAS I developed a feeling of duty to my community and my country that I did not have before and that I hope to continue developing at the university.

For future generations and those considering entering the program, I can assure you that it is mentally and physically exhausting, but at the end of the two years you will see that your effort will have paid off. With or without a diploma, the skills you will develop will take you with you and serve you for the rest of your life. Obtaining a diploma is without a doubt one of the most important achievements of my life, and it will help me achieve more in the future. Because of the complexity of the assignments and tasks, I will come to college prepared for that level of academic difficulty, and I feel that my IB education gave me an edge in meeting this challenge.

Thank you Colegio El Camino.