By John Philip Wyllie
Gloria Molina-Estolano would be the first one to tell you that she is not one of the stars on Bonita Vista’s 8-5 girl’s basketball team. The Boykin sisters, Danielle and Whitney combine with Melissa Howell for most of the Barons scoring. And two-sport athlete Elie Magracia and Victoria Rochat provide the blue and gold with a pair of quality guards. Molina-Estolano’s role is to provide the team with a spark off of the bench. She often does that when she fills in at guard or at wing or occasionally at forward.
“Gloria has been with me in the program since she was a freshman,” said Baron Coach, Wayne Wooten. “She is very steady and dependable and is the true essence of a student-athlete.”
Molina-Estolano is also a natural-born leader. And those leadership skills often come in handy on the team and in the many additional roles she takes on at the South Bay high school.
In addition to basketball, she has competed in swimming, volleyball and track. And her list of extracurricular activities goes on and on.
For starters, she is the senior class president and the commissioner of activities for the A.S.B. She is also the managing editor of the school’s award winning newspaper and the Model United Nations public relations officer as well as the Key Club secretary. In addition, Molina-Estolano contributes to Link Crew. Despite all these activities, she somehow finds the time to maintain a weighted G.P.A. of 4.04 and is a full International Baccalaureate candidate.
As the daughter of Mexican immigrants, Molina-Estolano is proud of her heritage and has made an effort to develop her fluency in Spanish.
“I think that is a really important thing to hang on to. From the fourth grade on I was no longer in bilingual classes and I started forgetting my Spanish,” she recalled. So, in my freshman year I took AP Spanish Language and I am really glad that I did. It is part of my culture and something that I never want to forget. I want to maintain that connection with my past. It is where I come from and where my family came from and family is super-important to me.”
Language is clearly not the only thing she has acquired from her parents. She seems to have inherited their incredible work ethic as well. Her mother for example, after arriving in this country as a teenager, worked her way first through junior college while still overcoming her language deficits. Then she went on to SDSU to earn a degree in microbiology.
Molina-Estolano is not sure what she will do next year, but she has a lot of options and a seemingly bright future ahead of her.
“I want to go to Berkeley or UCLA, but I have applied to a lot of places including Columbia, Stanford and USC. I don’t see myself doing any one thing forever. I kind of like journalism, but I think I would also like communications or international relations or business. I am leaning toward a lot of different areas.”
Whatever she chooses, with her combination of intelligence and drive Molina-Estolano is likely to become a major success.