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Honey Salgado-Parra Adapts Cultural Riches Into Academic Excellence

Cover graphic for senior snapshot featuring Honey Salgado-Parra

When Loveland High senior Honey Salgado-Parra walks across the stage at graduation this week, she will be the second member of her family to ever receive a diploma. 

“My family is from Mexico, and my grandparents didn’t have the means to go to school,” Honey says. “They worked to provide for their families.” 

Honey was born in the United States, but her family lived in Mexico until she turned four. She spoke only Spanish until she started preschool. Then, she began learning English and participated in Thompson School District’s English Language Development program until fourth grade, when the district considered her fluent.

Now a graduating senior, Honey is the oldest of four children. Like Honey, all of her siblings are bilingual, but her parents speak limited English and communicate in Spanish at home. Honey is grateful for her background and her fluency in two languages. 

“Being bilingual is an asset,” she says. “In the U.S., our population is very diverse, and there are a lot of Latino people here. Workplaces need people who can translate.”

Honey Salgado-Parra Surrounded by Support Throughout High School

Honey Salgado-Parra sits on bench, surrounded by her mother, father, and three siblings in front of Christmas backdrop

.Honey has always planned on going to college after high school. She is graduating near the top of her class and plans to attend Colorado State University and get a bachelor’s degree in Accounting. At Loveland High School, she has been involved in the National Honor Society and has done a lot of volunteering. Still, the path to graduation was not always easy for her, especially since she had to find the motivation to excel and plan for college within herself. 

“Since my parents didn’t go to school, it was kind of me navigating it all on my own,” she says. “I struggled with keeping up with work and the mental toll of that.” 

Honey credits her counselor at Loveland High, Brett Cain, and many supportive teachers for helping her stay on track. 

“It’s hard, but as long as you have goals to accomplish, you can do it by seeking help when you need it,” she says. “That’s not a bad thing.” 

She also got a lot of support from her parents, who always told her they wanted to see her get a college degree. 

“They said, whatever you choose to do, you can do,” she says. “I just decided I really wanted to go to college.”

Persevering Through Challenging Times

Honey Salgado-Parra stands with friends under brick arches

As a self-described “perfectionist,” Honey says she has always been very serious about her grades. After getting straight As her freshman year, she said she was determined to “keep it up.” However, she says she has occasionally struggled with time management, especially during COVID-19, and virtual learning at home was very hard for her. 

“I’m hard on myself; I expect the best from myself,” she says. “Toward the end, I was burnt out. I wanted to give up and do the bare minimum.” Honey recalls feeling depressed and finding it challenging to stay motivated. 

“I didn’t get a proper diagnosis, but I think it was just because of the stress of online school,” she says. “I think it was a combination of being isolated and feeling like there was no one else who would understand what I was going through.” Honey says she started drawing portraits to relax. She learned sometimes she needed to take a break and take time for herself. 

“It helped me to calm down, and then I could remember why I was doing what I was doing and why I was trying so hard,” she says. 

Now that she is graduating, Honey is looking forward to finding her way in the world and furthering her education so she can enjoy her future career. 

“My parents have worked a lot,” she says. “My uncle graduated from college and has a good job and a lot of free time. I want to be able to have that life instead of the life my parents have had.”

Portrait of a Graduate


Adapts communication style to the audience

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Class of 2023