Abbeny Solis, a senior at Harlingen High School South developed a proactive idea to give back to her community during a global pandemic. Inspired by her passion for service, Solis created Insync, a virtual summer program that offered free, engaging classes for children.
“I had really great teachers growing up, so I wanted to be that great teacher for young students,” Solis said. “That is just who I want to be in my community, a person that they can look up to, and hopefully inspire them to do the same thing if not better in the future.”
This project, along with her involvement in various other community activities made her a standout candidate and recipient of the Texas Education Agency Student Heroes Award.
Solis began Insync by recruiting the help of volunteers to teach a variety of classes to elementary and middle school students.
“We taught different things like astronomy, Chinese, mindset, leadership, and things like that,” Solis said. “I was able to get volunteers from the United States, Morocco, and Canada.”
This recognition was celebrated with a small event held at the Harlingen High School South Library. The event began with a few words from Harlingen High School South Principal, Fernando Reyes.
“You have done what we all aspire to do,” Reyes said to Solis. “And that is to help others in amazing ways. How you took it upon yourself to give more to others not by following, but by leading, that is what sets you apart.”
The award was presented by Board of Education representative, Ruben Cortez, who addressed the small, socially distanced audience.
“Abbeny’s passion and commitment to helping others in her community is impeccable, and she serves as a role model for students across Texas and the Nation,” Cortez said. “On behalf of the Board of Education, on behalf of District 2, I would like to congratulate Abbeny and wish her all the luck in the years to come.”
In recognition of her efforts, Solis was presented with a plaque, a copy of the signed resolution by the Board of Education, and as an additional tribute, her name will be perpetually displayed on a plaque at the Texas Education Agency in the William Travis building.
“At Harlingen CISD we want to graduate students who go above and beyond for their fellow man and impact the world we live in,” Superintendent Dr. Alicia Noyola said. “Today we are fortunate to be able to recognize one of those students. Abbeny, I thank you for everybody that you have helped. I know that there are other students throughout our school district and throughout the state that also do selfless work for others, and we encourage that. I challenge every student to continue that work.”
After high school, Solis plans to become a human rights or immigration attorney.
“Although I may not know what my future entails, I remain optimistic and determined that I will make an impact wherever I go,” she said.