Meet Catholic Central’s 2021 College Board National Hispanic Scholars!

Twenty-five Shamrock scholars were recognized as National Merit Scholars and/or College Board National Hispanic Scholars this year! Our thirteen College Board National Hispanic Scholars took some time to introduce themselves, and to answer some questions about their experience!

Antonio Michael Valdivia Bush ’22 is from Southfield, and attended Our Lady of Good Counsel. He was also recognized as a National Merit Commended Student!
Diego Cabello ’22 is from Plymouth, and attended Spiritus Sanctus Academy.
Graham Castillo ’22 is from Novi, and attended Our Lady of Victory in Northville.
Johnathan Diaz ’23 is from Bloomfield Hills and attended Detroit Country Day before he spent 8th grade at UDJ Academy.
Julian Freyre ’22 is from Farmington, and attended Power Middle School.
Vincent Greene ’22 is from Northville, and attended Our Lady of Victory.
Dylan Grewe ’23 is from Commerce Charter Township, and attended St. Patrick Middle School in White Lake.
Diego Guerra ’22 is from Northville, and attended Our Lady of Victory.
Patrick Michel ’23 is from Brighton, and attended Spiritus Sanctus Academy.
Pablo Razny ’23 is from Canton, and attended All Saints Catholic School.
Nick Ventura ’23 is from Canton, and attended All Saints Catholic School.
Billy Ward ’22 is from South Lyon, and attended Millennium Middle School.
Ryu Zarco Yokoyama ’23 is from Farmington Hills, and attended Farmington STEAM Academy.

Read on to learn a little more about these young men!

What are some of the things you are involved with at Catholic Central? 
  • Bush: I am the president of the chess club, and am also involved with Science Olympiad and HOSA.
  • Cabello: I run cross country and track, and am involved with student activities and the school newspaper.
  • Castillo: I am involved with the Band and Finance Club.
  • Diaz: I am a part of the CC Varsity tennis team, the CC Newspaper, the National Honors Society, the Spanish honors society, and Student Activities.
  • Freyre: I am a captain for the cross country and track teams, and am in the NHS and Latin Club.
  • Greene: I am on the football and quiz bowl teams, and am also involved with the Yearbook, French Club (leadership), and Latin Club.
  • Grewe: I am involved with student activities, the Spanish honor society, and school media team. Athletically I play for our volleyball club team, run track and field, and play in the Intramural Basketball League.
  • Guerra: I am on the Rugby team, and am involved with Student Activities, DECA, Spanish Club/Honors Society, Finance Club, Chess Club, Shamrocks for Veterans, Ut Fidem, and Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
  • Michel: I am active with our yearbook, cross country, wrestling, Shamrocks for Veterans, Ut Fidem, Shamrock Media Team, HOSA, and FIRST Robotics (Leadership position).
  • Razny: I am on the cross country and track teams, and am also involved with HOSA and DECA.
  • Ventura: I am a member of the finance club and DECA.
  • Ward: I am involved with student activities and played varsity soccer last year. I am an executive for both the DECA and HOSA programs, and was a state champion and national runner up as a captain of our eSports program.
  • Zarco Yokoyama: I am involved in the recently renamed school news club, Shamrock United Network (SUN) where this year I was assigned the role of Director of Social Media and Marketing. I will be creating the graphics for the school announcement and manage SUN's social media accounts. I am also involved with the JV Tennis team, Spanish Honors Society, National Honors Society, Ut Fidem, Track and Field (starts in the Spring), Fellowship for Christian Athletes, and Shamrocks for Veterans.

What are some of the things you are involved with off campus?
  • Bush: I am involved in tutoring.
  • Cabello: I have volunteered at my parish, OLGC, and the middle school I went to, SSA. 
  • Castillo: I am involved with the Our Lady of Victory youth group and volunteer at PB&J Outreach.
  • Diaz: I primarily volunteer for an organization named Angel's Place which assists physically or mentally disabled adults of varying degrees. 
  • Freyre: I attend Mass every week, and perform volunteer work for OLS.
  • Greene: I attended the National Student Leadership Conference (NSLC) this past summer.
  • Grewe: I am involved in VBS for my middle school during the summer. I also hold two jobs: caddy and golf staff member at Orchard Lake Country Club.
  • Guerra: I am not involved in off-campus activities.
  • Michel: I serve in Guadalupe Workers, and am active as a Boy Scout and Altar Server.
  • Razny: I attended the NSLC, and am involved with PB&J Outreach.
  • Ventura:  I am a Life Scout in Boy Scouts.
  • Ward: I really haven’t gotten involved with any outside organizations.
  • Zarco Yokoyama: I am involved in my Parish's Youth Group and I volunteer in my Parish's Vacation Bible School every summer where I help with and design the games for the kids to enjoy. I also occasionally help out in a charity that the mother of a fellow CC brother happens to run.

What made you decide to attend CC for high school? What is your favorite thing about CC?
  • Bush: It just seemed like an excellent school. CC's reputation really does precede it. My favorite thing is likely the sense of community. The brotherhood sounded really cheesy before I came to CC but it's definitely true.
  • Cabello: I wanted to attend CC for the academics and the opportunities. My favorite thing about CC is the community. 
  • Castillo: I decided to attend CC because I knew I would get a good education. My favorite thing about CC is the brotherhood. 
  • Diaz: It was a last minute decision for me to attend CC. I was deciding between attending CC or staying at my previous school, and I made the decision to attend CC at 9pm the night before school started. I know I made the right choice since my experience here at CC has been great so far. My favorite thing about CC is definitely the school spirit. The atmosphere and school spirit here at CC is so great I can barely explain it in words. The excitement and hype directed towards Drive, Boys Bowl, and the different sporting events is awesome.
  • Freyre: I decided to attend CC because I liked the atmosphere and the Catholic aspect of it all. My favorite thing about CC is the school spirit.
  • Greene: I decided to attend CC for high school because I knew that it was a good school with a great community that would push me academically. My favorite thing about CC is the family aspect. I think it sets CC apart from every other school.
  • Grewe: I attended CC for high school because I wanted to test my limits academically, physically, and religiously. It was necessary for me to be challenged in the classroom, on the track, and also for me to learn things I didn't know about my religion. My favorite thing about CC is the amount of options presented to the students that give us an opportunity to be involved with something outside of the classroom. I have friends that go to public schools that don't have anywhere near the options for extracurriculars that we have at CC. 
  • Guerra: I heard of the tradition, family, and the culture of CC and I was interested in that. I can say that it didn’t disappoint!
  • Michel: My dad is an alumnus, but I go here because of the superior and competitive academics, and I love the brotherhood
  • Razny: When I came and shadowed at CC, I immediately knew it was the right place for me. Compared to every other school I visited, CC stood out the most. Seeing a school that could be so successful in sports and in academics was fascinating and I knew I wanted to be a part of that legacy. My favorite thing about CC is the brotherhood. All my classmates have become like family to me and they're the reason each school day is a new adventure. 
  • Ventura: I went to CC because I knew that the academics would push me harder than most schools would. My favorite thing about CC is the brotherhood between all of the boys.
  • Ward: I wanted to be surrounded by a better community of people and be somewhere where I can excel. 
  • Zarco Yokoyama: I decided to attend CC for high school for the academic rigor and the Christian values the school offers and teaches that would help me grow as a man of God. I also decided to attend CC because I've heard from Alumni friends that the experience they had at CC was unforgettable and changed their lives for the better. My favorite things about CC are the brothers I've made along the way, the feeling of brotherhood at school events (especially at sporting events), and the overall school spirit and pride in every aspect of the school.

How has CC challenged you to grow during your time here?
  • Bush: CC has definitely challenged me to become more disciplined in my work and habits.
  • Cabello: CC has challenged me to grow because doing a sport and having lots of extracurricular and academic stuff to do required time management and communicating with people. 
  • Castillo: CC has challenged me by offering classes, clubs and extracurricular activities that I might not find at another school. I was able to experience new things. 
  • Diaz: CC has challenged me mainly through my education. I feel that the education at CC is not only great but also difficult. I am taking multiple challenging classes while I am also participating in a Varsity sport and multiple clubs. These demanding activities all push me to work harder, manage my time better, and grow as a person. 
  • Freyre: The workload and religious aspect has made me a hardworking and moral man of God.
  • Greene: CC has challenged me by pushing me to new heights with AP/Honors classes.
  • Grewe: CC has challenged me academically, physically, and spiritually.
  • Guerra: Not only have they challenged me academically, but they als helped me think and grow as a person. My practical skills like time management have improved, and I have found a stronger tie with my faith.
  • Michel: They’ve forced me to work harder than I ever have to keep my grades up.
  • Razny: The classes at CC are a big step up from what I was used to in middle school. The teachers all know what it takes for me to be successful and they make sure that the classes prepare me for the future. I've had to find out what works for me and use my resources to do my best in class. 
  • Ventura: CC has challenged me to grow in stepping out of my comfort zone at times academically with the more challenging classes and socially by meeting new friends that were not from middle school.
  • Ward: Challenging courses and the high expectations inherited by everyone here. Nearly everyone is amazing at something so it can be hard to excel compared to others, this is something that motivates me to be better. 
  • Zarco Yokoyama: CC has challenged me to grow through all the school events that brought me out of my comfort zone like Boys’ Bowl that taught me the value of school pride and brotherhood that have helped me enjoy my time at CC more. Also, the academic rigor that comes from great teachers and a lot of homework has taught me discipline by forcing me to manage my time and stay organized.

What are your plans after Catholic Central?
  • Bush: I plan to go to college at either University of Michigan or Notre Dame. I'm not entirely certain what I'd like to study, but I'm leaning towards neuroscience.
  • Cabello: After Catholic Central, I plan to go to college and study architecture. 
  • Castillo: I would like to attend the University of Michigan. I’m undecided as to what I would like to study at this time. I plan to audition for the marching band.
  • Diaz: I don't know where I would like to go to college but I hope I make it into a good college. I would like to enter into medicine but I am still deciding about what I would like to pursue. I would like to play college tennis - quite unlikely, but not impossible. I will most likely end up playing club tennis wherever I attend college.
  • Freyre: I want to go to MSU and study business and finance. I will not play a college sport.
  • Greene: I'm not entirely set on one college, but I have looked at Arizona State, Texas at Austin, and Michigan at Ann Arbor as my top 3. I want to major in accounting. I want to join clubs and intramural sports in college.
  • Grewe: I plan to attend Michigan University and, once there, I will enroll in a pre-med course. This is a necessary step in my dream to become an anesthesiologist. During my time here, I plan to continue my involvement in activities that go beyond the classroom experience.
  • Guerra: I hope to go to Boston College in the coming year and to study Finance at BC. Secondly I would love to be involved in club sports, and join other extracurricular activities offered at many colleges, especially sports like Rugby.
  • Michel: I want to go to the Naval Academy, probably for chemical engineering.
  • Razny: I would love to go to a big college like Michigan or one that specifies more in the field I look to pursue. As of right now, I plan to study something that has to do with math and technology.
  • Ventura: My goal is to get into a college of Michigan's caliber. Michigan and Wisconsin are my dream schools. I want to study something in business: sales or accounting more specifically.
  • Ward: I’d like to go to U of M and study computer science or computer engineering
  • Zarco Yokoyama: After Catholic Central, I am planning to go to college at the University of Michigan. It's pretty close to home and they have one of the best Architecture Schools in America which is what I want to major in. I also would like to minor in Japanese because I want to perfect my Japanese and possibly use it in the workplace. I am also planning on playing intramural sports like soccer and tennis in college.

We hope you enjoyed learning a bit more about our Hispanic scholars. You can also see the responses from our National Merit Semi-Finalists here, and our National Merit Commended Students here.
Teach Me Goodness, Discipline, and Knowledge” is the motto of the Basilian Fathers and the sacred mission of Catholic Central High School. For more than ninety years, the graduates of Catholic Central have made a positive impact on their communities at a local, national, and global level.