Going All In for the Goal
Check back each day this week as we share the stories of some of our incredible students.
When Bryan Jara Arteaga and his family moved from Mooresville to Indy, he was used to being just one in a crowd. Bryan was a quiet kid, shy, and used to keeping mostly to himself. But when he began his sophomore year at Providence Cristo Rey High School, that was about to change.
For starters, Bryan received his Corporate Work Study placement at Community Hospital East. There, his supervisor gave him a job that pushed him outside of his comfort zone.
“When I came here [PCR] as a sophomore I didn’t really talk to very many people,” Bryan said, “but my supervisor at the hospital had me going up to people and saying, ‘Hi, thanks for coming to Community Hospital East,’ and I felt like it made me more outgoing and helped me be less shy. That’s why I liked it there. I helped make signs for the hospital, greeted people and showed them around the hospital, I got to tour different departments to see the kind of work they did.”
It wasn’t only his work study job that helped Bryan grow in confidence. PCR’s smaller school size also made a big difference.
“I like that everyone knows each other at the school” Bryan explained. “When I went to Mooresville, you knew some of the kids, but not all of the kids that you’re graduating with, and here I can name everybody. I like that it’s more interactive. It’s like you basically grew up with all of the kids you’re in class with, so you’re not shy.”
But the place where Bryan really found a home was on the soccer field. Although he had spent a great deal of his childhood playing and watching soccer, it wasn’t until high school that he started to take it seriously. His first year at PCR, Bryan wasn’t sure that he had what it would take to succeed on the field, so instead of joining the team, he dove headfirst into a training regimen of his own.
“That whole year, I literally trained so much,” he recalled. “I remember playing in the snow just to get better.”
By his junior year, Bryan was finally ready to take the field with the Wolves.
“I came in not really knowing tactics and all that – coach really helped me out a lot – I just came in and he helped me out a lot to get my method down.”
Being on the team helped carry Bryan through the ups and downs of high school.
“I would wake up and I was like, ‘I’ve got school – but then I’ve got practice,’” he said, smiling. “Some days I would just come to school so that I could play and practice.”
As the season went by, and with Coach Reilly’s patient instruction, Bryan rapidly improved his technique. And as he improved, Bryan started to score – a lot. By the time his senior season ended, he had not only become the team’s lead scorer, with 23 goals and 4 assists, he had also helped the team to its first ever sectional championship and had been named to the Indianapolis All-City Team – the first PCR athlete in any sport in the school’s history to receive the recognition.
Although many people would let such accomplishments go to their head, Bryan, with his characteristic humility, spoke only of the team and its collective successes. To him, soccer remains a game – one that he enjoys playing immensely.
“I want to play in college,” Bryan said. “I’ll probably try as a walk on. I know I still have to improve a lot, so I’m going to work towards it. I want to keep playing, even if it’s just for fun because it takes a lot of stress away, so it’s just fun.”
As Bryan looks forward toward the end of his time at Providence Cristo Rey, he still isn’t sure what exactly his next steps will be. Thanks to his current Corporate Work Study job, he’s considering studying either finance or IT.
But wherever he goes to college, and whatever field he decides to pursue, Bryan is not letting himself wallow in anxiety about what the future has in store.
“I’m young, and I don’t think a lot of people knew at my age what they wanted to do, so I have time,” he explained. “Whatever I end up doing, I know God’s going to be with me and that he’s going to take care of me. I really don’t want to stress about it too much because I think that just causes problems. I’m just going to take it one step at a time.”
If Bryan’s years at PCR have taught him anything, it is that as long as he works hard and puts in the time and effort, he will be able to accomplish whatever goals he decides to pursue.
“One of the values I’ve learned is just working hard to accomplish anything. You could come in as a beginner not knowing anything, but if you put in the work, you can get good. Like I noticed the change from my sophomore to junior year after I trained so much just to get good. And I guess that goes for anything – if you want to be a doctor, you have to put in the hours to study. You just have to try to be the best at what you do.”
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