On Friday nights, after a stressful week full of classes and homework, Springdale High School Junior Eduardo Aguilar packs his trumpet in his case and hops in a van with eight other musicians and heads to a restaurant, quinceanera, or wedding reception where he’ll spend the next few hours serenading guests. Sometimes getting home as late as 3:00 am, he then gets ready for bed and for the long weekend ahead of him filled with not only school work but more gigs with the rest of his bandmates. Aguilar has been playing the trumpet with Mariachi Esencia de America, one of only three mariachi bands located in Northwest Arkansas, since he was 15. And for over two years now he is busy traveling to different locations, sometimes several hours away, every Saturday and Sunday.
Aguilar is one of many students at Springdale High School who have active lives outside of school. High school can be a daunting time for a teenager, but it’s also where we start to learn who we are, what we enjoy, and start thinking about what we will do in the future. Hobbies turn into future career possibilities. Some use their free time to enjoy movies, video games, or just spending time with friends and family. Others use it as a continuation of school by studying or doing homework. Many students spend their nights and weekends working in order to save money.
With a diverse student body like the one at Springdale High School, is it isn’t unusual to find a student doing something out of the ordinary with their time outside of school.
“I’ve been in the band for over two years now. It’s an amazing opportunity to learn new things and also its very fun and good money, ” said Aguilar of his traveling mariachi band.
Aguilar started playing trumpet in the seventh grade at J.O. Kelly Middle School and has found a way to use his extra curricular activity as a way to make money.
“I’ve come a long way from just being in band and playing my trumpet.” he said.
Some Springdale High School students are so busy with school and work, they have very little free time. Junior Diana Campos is an International Baccalaureate (IB) student, a member of the swim team, student council, and the literary arts magazine. Her time outside of school is spent working at Marketplace Grill and working on homework.
“I work because I need money and also I think it is nice having money to be able to buy what I want like coffee in the morning or school supplies,” Campos said. “My school life and life outside of school are both busy”
Students are passionate about making their school a better place while simultaneously doing things to better themselves. For example Aguilar is using the money he makes playing gigs to save for his future plans after high school. Campos is also hoping what she does inside and outside of school helps her for her future as well.
“If swim helps me get scholarships the would be cool and because I have a job I’m trying to save money for college in case I don’t get enough scholarships,” she said.