Every Student Succeeding: Viviana Patino

Viviana grew up in Tecoman, Colima in Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was five years old. She is a caregiver to her younger siblings and a shining example for them of what it means to work hard and focus on success. A typical day for Viviana includes rushing home from school to help her brothers and sister with their homework. She must also assist her parents with various appointments and meetings as their translator. As a student at Roseville High School she completed multiple AP exams and maintained a 3.96 GPA while committed to the AVID program. After a childhood spent working hard and shouldering a great deal of responsibility, Viviana became the first member of her family to graduate from high school this spring… And now she’s off to college, and anything else she puts her mind to.


Sept. 26, 2017

Roseville student finds balancing act with school and family

Viviana Patino is on a tight schedule. She does not have time to socialize at lunch. Instead, you’ll find her studying in the library.

“She’s a very reserved young woman,” Roseville High counselor Philomena Crone said. “Certainly a role model for students that hard work does pay off.”

Her work ethic is unparalleled. And while Viviana is meek and mild-mannered, she is also determined to make her parents proud. She grew up in Tecoman, Colima, Mexico, but immigrated to the United States when she was just five years old.

“Getting here and not knowing English, you obviously had to start over,” Viviana said. “And so meeting new people was harder. And so we were living somewhere where we didn’t know anybody or anything.”

Her new life in the United States brought new expectations. Viviana became an extension of her parents to her three younger siblings, Gustavo, Alejandro and Emily.

“When they brought us here, they brought us with the intention of receiving a better education than they received,” Viviana said. “I wanted to make them feel proud of all their sacrifices and set the standard for my siblings.”

A typical day for Viviana includes rushing home from school to help her brothers and sister with their homework. She must also assist her parents with various appointments and meetings as their translator.

“At first, I thought like, ‘Why am I the one who has to be doing all this?’” Viviana said. “Because it was a lot at once. But now that I look back, it’s only a small portion of what my parents had to sacrifice and so doing this for them makes me feel good. And I’m glad to be doing it.”

In some ways, Viviana is giving up a part of her childhood. But her sacrifice is not lost on her parents.

“I’m very proud of her because she’s a good student,” Viviana’s father Arnulfo Patino said. “She helps her siblings with everything. If they need something they don’t know with their homework, she’s the one who tells them how to do it.”

Much has been asked of Viviana Patino. She grew up fast because she did not have a choice. But she accepted the added responsibility with open arms.

“I’m just so proud of her,” Roseville teacher Debbie Sidler said. “I’m proud of her for not giving up when giving up was probably the first thought in her mind. She’s opening that door for her family to follow in her footsteps. And I believe that they will by the example that she’s set.”

Viviana understands she is a role model to her younger siblings. This spring, she became the first member of her family to graduate from high school. And now she’s off to college.

“I feel proud of myself for everything I’ve done and for, I think, the good example I’m setting for my siblings,” Viviana said. “I’m showing them that no matter where we started you can always get better. And challenging yourself is a good way to prove that.”

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