Influential Seniors: A.J. Mendoza

Influential Seniors: A.J. Mendoza

Photos by Mikala Compton


Video by Aaron Messick and Davis Millard

A.J. Mendoza

Next year’s plan: Attending Ozark Christian College to study Preaching Ministry

Career plans: Preacher

How have you changed since freshman year?

For most of the time, all the way up to the end of junior year, I didn’t do anything at all. But then things changed, and that’s when I started to talk to people, because I’m really introverted, and I would have a lot of anxiety when talking to people, that’s why I didn’t do it too much. But though the confidence that has been given to me, I was able to go out there and do more stuff, and so senior year was really all out, and everything changed and new stuff happened, so it’s been really cool.

What’s the most important lesson that you’ve learned in high school?

To give people some slack, and to not have so much expectations on people. All of them in essence are trying to do the same thing so you can’t get mad at them if they do it in a different way. So I guess I just learned to be able to accept them more and to love them more.

What is your biggest goal in life?

To be useful. And I guess just to not waste time. I really want to try and, before I really go out and be independent, to fill my mind up with information and to get disciplined and prepared for anything that unexpectedly can come at me. I’m pretty comfortable with life, with what’s going to happen, so I just want to be useful for progress and for people until I die.

You were voted as one of the top most influential seniors in the school. Who influences you?

Originally, Grant Foard. He is my most influential person. He, when I first started to understand what it means to follow Christ, he was there; he showed me how, he taught me. He’s been my mentor through this whole process, so he’s done a really significant portion of my growth.

What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind at Northwest?

I don’t want to be remembered, but I want to leave back behind a good name for Christians. I know that a lot of them have slandered it and have done mean things and I definitely know a lot, and I’ve definitely been one of those Christians that was a jerk. So I want to leave behind a name that they’re not all judgmental and self-righteous. Some of them are actually humbling themselves and will love people.

If you could say one last thing to the Class of 2013, what would your final thoughts be for them?

I guess my final thoughts would be, to those that I met but ignored, that I’m sorry. And for all those that I was never able to meet, that I would have loved to.

Interviews by Ashlee Crane