Top 10 Spotlight: Kevin Benavides

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by Ronnie Zamora/LFCISD

Kevin Benavides played the video game Donkey Kong Country when he was 4 years old.

The love for video games and how they work may pave the way for a career for Kevin, the third-ranked student in the Los Fresnos High School Class of 2017.

He plans to major in Arts and Entertainment Technology at The University of Texas at Austin.

“Developing video games interests me,” said Kevin, son Luis and Laura Benavides. “I find it entertaining telling a story on a video game. I normally play video games for the story. For me, it’s like reading a book.”

Kevin, who originally planned to major in biomedical engineering at UT, said that his ambition deals a lot with sound production, and 2D and 3D imaging for theater and video games.

“Sound production interests me,” he said. “My friend Albert Escobedo and I wrote a song together. I’ve always loved music.”

He started playing the saxophone as a sixth-grade student at Resaca Middle School and has sharpened his skills over the years.  LFHS and Los Fresnos United for four years. Kevin was a section leader as a senior, helping lesser-experienced students learn marching fundamentals and offering tips on playing the saxophone.

“When I was younger in elementary school, I thought that playing the saxophone and jazz music was the coolest thing ever. I had a choice of percussion or saxophone, but I knew I was going to play the saxophone.”

He is a regular on the LFHS Jazz Band, where a saxophone is a major part of the music produced by a jazz band.

He owns a saxophone which he will take to college with him, but won’t play in the college band. “Being in the band has been great but it is time-consuming. If I had the opportunity to be in the jazz band in college, I would jump on it.”

Besides band, Kevin also participated in chess and was a member of the Solar Racing Club as a junior.

He started playing chess in Kindergarten at Olmito Elementary School, and placed third in the state in the Elementary JV Division when he was in sixth grade.

“I kept playing chess until high school when I started spending more time in band, so I didn’t play as much.”

Kevin, who does not watch television, enjoys doing more personal fun things than productive things. But academics has always been a priority.

“My parents were never pushy,” he said. “It was more of self-expectations and a pride thing. I didn’t want to lower my standards from elementary all the way to high school. What really helped me was getting to know my teachers. It’s a lot easier going through high school when you have a good relationship with your teachers.”

His advice for younger students to succeed academically:
“I had a lot of teachers – even in middle school – that I really looked up to. It made it easier for me to work harder on those classes and really learned. Learn from those teachers. They are really here to help you. That’s really important to develop a relationship with them academically.”

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