University View Academy announced David Cortes-Valdez as Student of the Year 2022 to compete state-wide this Spring. The son of Roberto Cortes and Vielka Valdez of Baton Rouge, Cortes-Valdez will graduate in May at 16 years of age with a 4.41-grade point average and 36 college credit hours.
Born prematurely in Puerto Rico, Cortes-Valdez came to Louisiana when he was five. Not just academically successful, but quite extraordinarily, he overcame the challenges of learning English as a second language, ADHD, and Autism Spectrum Disorder.
As a teen community online forums moderator and a prolific video gamer, he has a robust online footprint. Cortes-Valdez served as a Teen Court Juror in the Greater East Baton Rouge Parish Voluntary Diversion Program where he deliberated on punishment based on sentencing guidelines. Cortes-Valdez has also visited schools and nursing homes to encourage and entertain with speeches and skits. He donates his time to tutor, pet sit, and be the neighborhood tech support.
Cortes-Valdez enjoys tennis, cats, and traveling domestically and internationally. Cortes-Valdez plans to attend college after graduation but hasn’t decided on a course of study. He says he has a passion for science and technology and hopes to positively impact others’ lives.
The Louisiana Student of the Year Competition allows schools from around the state to nominate one student from the 5th, 8th, and 12th grades to vie for statewide honors as Louisiana Elementary, Middle, or High School Student of the Year. After being selected as UVA’s Twelfth Grade Student of the Year, David was then entered into the Louisiana State Student of the Year Competition. David was selected as the Student of the Year for Zone C (Central Louisiana, including the City of Baker, City of Bogalusa, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, and Tangipahoa parishes), and will now move on to the final selection stage. The state-wide winners are announced in April.