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A Step Above: Jacqueline Leon

Bishop Gorman High School

Class of 2019

Bishop Gorman High School Co-Valedictorian Jacqueline Leon is a force. At the top of her class academically and on top of her running game, she stands out as both a dedicated learner and an unstoppable athlete. From rejections to all time personal bests, there have been many ups and downs along the way, yet she remains focused on the bigger picture. Seeing the world through an ever-positive, never-quit lens, she’s learned to courageously stand up for what she believes in, that oftentimes sacrifice is the best path to fulfillment, and that no matter how much is going on in your own life, there’s always time to help others. For all that and more, Jacqueline Leon is– A Step Above.

G.P.A.: 4.10


  • Varsity Track and Field, 2015-2018; Captain, 2016-2018
  • Varsity Cross Country, 2016-2019; 2017-2019
  • Varsity Bowling, 2017-2018
  • BGHS Praise and Worship Choir, 2018-2019
  • Holy Spirit Catholic Church Vessel Worship Band, 2018-Present; Ministry Team, 2018-Present
  • JV Gaels on Broadway Winter Arts Extravaganza Performer, 2016
  • Piano, 2009-Present
  • National Charity League, 2013-2019; Historian, 2015-2016; Co-Chair for Chapter Fashion Show, 2017-2018
  • National Honor Society, 2017-2019; National English Honor Society, 2016-2017; National Spanish Honor Society, 2016-2019; NSHS President, 2018-2019
  • Mu Alpha Theta and Rho Kappa, 2017-2019
  • Medical Society, 2015-2019
  • Best Buddies, 2015-2018
  • Science Club, 2016-2018; President, 2017-2018

Awards/ Scholarships/Community Service:

  • Presidential Service Award, 2017
  • Varsity White Letter, 2018
  • Scholastic Art and Writing Competition Gold Key Winner, 2019
  • Scholar Athlete: Track and Field, 2015-2018; Cross Country, 2016-2019
  • Nevada All-State Academic Team–Track, 2015/2017-2018; Cross Country, 2016-2019
  • NCL Modelette Award, 2018
  • Track and Field Coach’s Award, 2017
  • 2X Freshman Pride Recipient, 2015
  • Cross Country Ms. GAEL Award, 2018/2019
  • University Scholarships: Baylor University Academic Scholarship, 2019; Creighton University Founder’s Award and Roman Shaffel S.J. Award, 2019; Texas Christian University Dean’s Scholarship, 2019; University of Nevada, Las Vegas Excellence Scholarship, 2019; University of San Diego, Alcala Award, 2019
  • Volunteer Work: Miracle League, Opportunity Village, Three Square Food Bank, Project 150, Las Vegas Rescue Mission, Shine a Light & Salvation Army

What achievements are you most proud of? “I am most proud of maintaining a 4.0+ GPA and being in the top 2.5% of my graduating class; achieving my white letter for participating in three varsity sports during one academic year; becoming captain for the varsity track team as a sophomore; and going with the cross country team to the 2017/2018 Nevada State Championship race.”

Running wasn’t initially a thing for you, and yet, here you are, killing it. How did that come to be? “Entering high school, I wanted to play soccer, but did not make the school team. I was playing club soccer, but my mom wanted me to play a school sport and thought track would be a great opportunity to build endurance for soccer. I dreaded it because I hated running. I ran the mile trial in 9:28. As I continued to work hard during meets and practice, I eventually achieved a 5:58 by my junior year. I love this sport so much because it’s something I am able to continue to do throughout college and the rest of my life.”

What is Shine a Light? “This association was created by the class of 2018 at Bishop Gorman. We collect supplies such as granola bars, sandwiches, toothpaste and soap to help the thousands of people living under the tunnels in Las Vegas. We also create mats from collected plastic bags so they can sleep on them or use them as a blanket. It makes me reflect on how fortunate I am.”

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