Daniel Zepeda is a ‘Made in Hayward’ fourth grader at Fairview Elementary school, who is humble, enthusiastic, and strives to be a role model, at the young age of 10! First off…100% attendance at school! I never achieved that in all my years of schooling!
Family is important, with mom and dad, from Michoacán and Jalisco, respectively, three older sisters, Snoopy, their black and white dog, and five chickens…no rooster! Michoacán or Jalisco? “Michoacán…it’s greener”. He has been to both states, three times and loves it: Family, food, friends, horses, four-wheelers with uncle, and all else.
At school, he feels that he was not challenged enough in Kindergarten – is that normal, for someone that age? There was talk of him skipping it, but after a talk, mom and dad decided that he needed to have the Kinder experience, especially since he had not gone to any preschool. At his present school, Daniel sits on the Student Council, and provides creative ideas, setting high goals for himself and for his classmates.
Personally, he has a great smile, with smiling greenish blue eyes that he swears change color, nicely tanned, brown hair, slim, a thinker, and a non-fidgeter.
My first question to him was ‘how in Heaven’s name do you manage to go to school every day?’ With mom looking on, he matter of factly says ‘I just do it.’ Well, this is how he does it: goes to bed at an early hour, after a late night snack and chores, does not read in bed – that’ll change, am sure!, and wakes up at 6am. Without an alarm clock! He needs no pushing, knows that he’ll be at school that day.
Daniel and four other ‘Made in Hayward’ youngsters were recognized as Hayward Rotary Club Scholars, by our Hayward City Council, and by the HUSD Board. He is proud of that accomplishment and honored that he’s been recognized because of it.
Math comes easily for him and he likes that it makes him think. I suggested a career in education as a math teacher to teach math-challenged individuals. His response? A flat No. ‘I’m going to be a professional soccer player.’ ‘And when your soccer days are over?’ ‘An attorney, a bilingual one, probably from CAL.’ I have to be impressed…
He loves soccer, likes basketball – hey, so do I! – mainly because of their competitiveness. And for fun - almost no TV, except for soccer matches and soccer videogames, his one, real hobby. So, Chicharito or Messi? ‘¡Chicharito!’ Argentina or México in a game? ‘México, by 2, on a penalty shootout.’ For whom would he play in the World Cup? He would take turns, he says, since he does have double USA-México citizenship. Smart kid.
Mr. Zepeda likes soccer video games, as they help him chill out, killing his stress. I did NOT know that 10-year olds suffered from stress! He also likes ‘fideos’ (angel hair pasta), made by his mom, especially with fresh cheese on top. It is a great dish from México, and I love it too! Finally, he likes México, and would prefer to have longer visits there, loving that he’s bilingual and bicultural.
Dislikes? When his sisters pick on him. He accepts it, being the baby of the family, yet, on occasion, he simply runs away. Cauliflower is one of his biggest dislikes, although, he has NEVER had it!
Daniel Zepeda is an impressive young man. I salute him, thank his parents and his teachers, and am extremely honored and proud to present him to you. Let’s help him, and my other Youngsters of the Month be leaders. They will encourage leadership and volunteerism among their peers, for the benefit of our whole fine city.