BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Many Golden Empire seniors have had their sporting careers cut short, so KGET and San Joaquin Construction Services have teamed up to recognize our local student-athletes.
Growing up in an impoverished family of six, Jesus Alvarez always considered himself an underdog, except during his two hours of track and field practice every day.
“I feel like I own the world when I am on the track,” said Alvarez. “I’m supposed to be here. It’s where I belong.”
Every time he competes, there’s a chip on his shoulder a country mile wide, because he knows what the opportunity means for his future.
“The main thing that inspired me is to be someone big because there’s not like many career opportunities like to come out of Arvin,” said Alvarez
The son of two farmworkers in the rural community of Arvin, the high school senior has always tried to outrun the odds.
“I don’t want to end up working in the fields like my friends,” said Alvarez. “I hate it.”
Thus, when he started track and field his freshmen year at Arvin High School, Alvarez was going to give it everything he had.
The countless hours of work have paid off.
Today, Alvarez is one of the top long jumpers in the state. The high school senior has even won back-to-back Valley Championships.
However, his streak will stop short there, as his senior season was stripped from him in the blink of an eye. The loss is like nothing he has ever felt before.
“On a scale from 1 to 10, probably 10,” said Alvarez. “It was hard, you know, it was supposed to be like my best year.”
The loss left many of his high school dreams unfulfilled.
“It’s hard, because like I’ve always wanted a ring, like a championship state ring,” said Alvarez.
Despite the heartbreak, Alvarez will still be able to compete next year because he has accepted a full-ride scholarship to CSU Bakersfield.
Alvarez will be the first in his family to attend college.