Benny is 13 years old and he is currently attending eighth grade at St. John Vianney Catholic School. He was born in Mexico and came to the US when he was three years old. Benny learned English by speaking and playing with his cousins and when he started school he was fluent in both languages (English and Spanish). Benny likes reading and he is also good at math. He is SUPER athletic and plays soccer and basketball. He’s played soccer since he was four years old and has never stopped. His team went from division nine to division one. The name of his team is Vipers 05 boys and the club is West Valley FC. Benny goes to soccer practice three times a week and he participates in weekend tournaments in Phoenix and other cities in AZ. Benny plays basketball for his school team and when he can, he joins the American Sports Center in Avondale basketball team. He has played soccer and volleyball at ASCA as well.
At home, Benny likes to read, watch videos and listen to music. He likes buying sports shoes and he mows the backyard lawn or washes the cars, apart from his regular chores, to earn money and buy shoes. He is also artistic and very good at drawing and painting.
Q. Do you come from a family of athletes?
A. Yes, both of my parents exercise regularly and have always liked to play sports. My sister has played school and club volleyball for years. Growing up, I have always been close to all of my cousins, aunts, uncles, and we enjoy going to the park when it is not too hot, to play basketball, kickball, soccer, and volleyball. Sports and exercise are things my family values.
Q. What advice would you have for others learning a second language as a child?
A. Take every opportunity you have to practice and remember that you can always get better by practicing. You can also listen to music and watch TV in the language you are learning to help you increase your vocabulary.
Q. Do you have a favorite vacation spot?
A. Mexico is my favorite vacation spot because there are many places to visit, the food is scrumptious, and I get to spend time with family I don’t usually see. Some of my favorite places to visit while I’m in Mexico are the beach and the mountains.
Q. Can you tell us about being a part of Avondale Sports Center?
A. I’ve always liked playing basketball at the Avondale Sports Center because I can meet new people who share some of the same interests as me or hang out with my friends who also practice a sport. The Friday night games are always exciting and fun.
Q. How has St. John Vianney impacted you?
A. Studying at St. John Vianney has impacted my learning in positive ways. While I receive a good education, I also learn about my faith and become closer to God and others. Our teachers, priests and students are all very caring and nice. Everyone helps and supports each other when they have a problem or need.
Q. How do you manage your schedule?
A. Playing sports while going to school and having to complete homework can sometimes make it challenging to be able to accomplish all of the things I need to do. I manage that by always planning out what I need to do ahead of time and putting school first.
Benny Avina is an eighth grader at St. John Vianney.