Daniel Salgado-Alvarez displays versatility on road to Harvard

Gavin Ewen, Sectional Editor

Senior Daniel Salgado-Alvarez is always up for a challenge.

It’s one reason why the EG senior has decided to attend Harvard University in the fall of the 2020-2021 school year.

Throughout his four years at EGHS, Salgado-Alvarez’s goal has been to try new things, find new opportunities and help others when it’s possible. And that’s just during the school day without even taking into account the numerous extracurricular activities in which he’s involved.

At EG, Salgado-Alvarez was involved with multiple clubs and activities including debate, graphic arts and speech, which helped him gain friendships throughout his four years.

“My favorite thing about EGHS was the diversity of clubs, classes and opportunities available,” Salgado-Alvarez said via email.

Throughout his four years at EG, Salgado-Alvarez said he has formed strong relationships with not only students, but staff members as well.

“Academically I’ve had multiple teachers allow me to expand on essays or projects and go more in depth into topics that have interested me,” Salgado-Alvarez said via email. “I think this has prepared me well for college writing and research.”

Salgado-Alvarez mentions that teachers like Bonnie Kale, Matt Bohnenkamp and Matt Snow really helped him get to where he is today. From teachers around the school, he said he has learned key skills such as time management and how to study properly. Salgado-Alvarez said he believes these are all necessities to being a well-rounded college student.

“I’m going to miss hanging out with a lot of my friends,” Salgado-Alvarez said. “Some of my favorite memories are just joking around with them at all the 12-hour-long speech and debate tournaments.”

Now that Salgado-Alvarez knows his time at EG is winding down, he is still keeping in touch with his future school in a variety of ways. He is going to major in government and statistics with a minor in Korean.

But Salgado-Alvarez is also planning on exploring other avenues and opportunities at Harvard. He said he is also going into his freshman year with an open mind. He said other subjects such as sociology, linguistics and anthropology interest him and could allow him to see what he enjoys most.

“Over the summer, I’m planning on doing some online class work in statistics and Korean in order to explore my interests before college,” Salgado-Alvarez said via email.

He has also hopped on Zoom meetings with other Harvard students to ask them questions and learn more about them and the school in general.

Salgado-Alvarez also said he admits he has been binge-watching college advice videos, so he knows what to pack, learn more about college style classes and how to prepare for going away from his family.

EGHS social science teacher and head debate coach, Matt Bohnenkamp said he’s never seen a student find so many opportunities to help further and better his education. Bohnenkamp said his favorite thing about Salgado-Alvarez is his initiative and drive.

“He finds so many opportunities, whether it’s scholarships, summer programs, service opportunities, colleges to which he can apply or even a new club or activity at Elk Grove,” Bohnenkamp said via email.     

Bohnenkamp said Salgado-Alvarez’s best attribute as a person is his humility and the way he comes off to others.

“A lot of students in his position might let their accomplishments go to their head and make themselves hard to be around, but Daniel takes it in stride and is more than happy to share the spotlight with others,” Bohnenkamp said via email.

As for debate, Bohnenkamp said he never got the sense that Salgado-Alvarez was ever in it just for himself. He said he was always striving to push others and make the team better as a whole.

“Whether it’s in academic class or in debate, Daniel has an ‘can do’ attitude from which his classmates and teammates benefit,” Bohnenkamp said via email.

For EGHS English teacher and assistant speech team coach Kale, she said she will always remember Salgado-Alvarez for his sense of humor.

“Daniel is one of the most ambitious and dedicated students I’ve ever worked with,” Kale said via email.

Kale said that one of her finest memories about Salgado-Alvarez is him fighting for all EG Students to have access to library cards.

“Daniel goes above and beyond to give back to the EG Community,” Kale said via email. “Daniel spent hours every week peer-coaching students on the speech team, he worked all summer to help organize activities for Estudiantes Unidos summer camp and he graciously helped many of my students with their college application essays.”

Although Salgado-Alvarez is bummed he won’t get the proper send-off at EGHS because of EG’s closures from the Covid-19 outbreak, he is looking forward to the future, but also looking back on the positive impacts he’s made on others lives.

“It’s definitely sad not having a traditional ending to my high school experience,” Salgado-Alvarez said via email. “It feels like there is a lack of closure when it comes to extracurricular activities, saying goodbye to friends and teachers or simply just making those last memories. In the end, I understand that closing school was necessary.”