With his sophomore year wrapped up, Carlos Tejada ’18 has big plans for the second half of his academic career at Bergen Catholic, and beyond that as well. “Being here is really motivating,” he says. “My goal is to continue to keep my environment a positive one and change the world one step at a time.” An honor roll student, member of the track team and a musician, Carlos has far-reaching interests, and that’s just the way he wants it. With an eye on a career in law, Carlos has set his sights on making his mark and giving back to others. As an incoming freshman, Carlos thought science would be his academic concentration—but his focus has switched in a big way. “It was a really cool transition, actually,” he says. “Mr. Tedesci and Ms. Holt, who taught me AP European History and English Honors are both amazing in what they teach and how they teach it, and actually inspired me to become a lawyer,” he says. His mom, attorney Anna Maria Tejada, past president of the Hispanic Bar Association, has had a great impact on his decision as well.
One important step he’s taking is as a volunteer through school for Operation Smile, an international medical charity that provides free surgeries for children born with cleft lips, cleft palates and other facial deformities. “It’s a great program that I love being a part of,” he says. “We’ve raised a lot of money through the school selling cookies and T-shirts. I like that our school is big on helping others.”
As a member of the winter and spring track teams, Carlos likes both the camaraderie of being on a team and the mental benefits of exercise: “At school we’re encouraged to be physically active. When I have a test to study for, I’ll run a mile or two the night before to free my mind and be better prepared, and it works.”
Plans for the near future include traveling to West Virginia for a week in July to help build homes for the needy, possibly volunteering at Hackensack University Medical Center and trying out for the school’s jazz band, playing piano in the fall. Carlos has many goals he’s working hard, to reach, and he knows he’s at the best place to get to them: “My parents have always encouraged me to be the best that I can be, and Bergen Catholic is helping me reach the full potential that they have always wished for me.”