Riverside High School Junior Sergio Rosa considers his ascension to group commander for the NC-943 Unit at his school his major achievement this year. But this is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. He serves as a junior coach with the Durham Summer Swim League team, he sails, he hikes, and he maintains a 3.5 GPA in the school’s Engineering program.
His teachers and administrators note, however, that he is no 24-7 bookworm; he loves being active outside the classroom. In addition to his free-time activities, he assists with the Exceptional Children’s program at Riverside. And he proudly shares that he’s proud of having learned how to make his mental health a priority.
“He is cool under fire with the calm demeanor necessary to work with others,” said his principal, Dr. Gloria Woods-Weeks.
Sergio says he’s still learning how to manage his time, like most. But he gets an A for effort. He forges ahead and looks forward to a successful future in the sportscar racing industry. He plans to take his talent to Formula 1 or the WEC (World Endurance Championship) sportscar championship games, he says.
He says his aspirations, family, and friends motivate him. His mother, Mary Baird, is proud of his accomplishments, noting that he will be a first-generation college student on his father’s side here in the United States. Sergio’s military influence comes from his maternal great-grandfathers, who both served in World War II, and his mother’s brother who served for 19 years in the Marine Corps. Her son, she says, is a true leader.
His ROTC instructor, Sgt. Vallera, has also observed those leadership abilities, noting: “He leads by example, but also has no problem if he made a wrong decision being open with it and learning from it, yet also persevering after.”