Three strangers with one thing in common

All in a Name: White

January is often associated with snowy weather, hills covered in frozen powder, an ideal background for winter sports and games. When we look out on that scene, we see a field of white.

Here at Armijo, we have three students who personify that white, living it through their last name. But what sets them apart?

Viridiana White

Viridiana shares both her first and last name with her mother. “I’m her first daughter and she wanted me to have her first name,” she said. Most of the time, though, she goes by her middle name, Jaala. “My mom spelled my name Jaala instead of Jayla because it means Little Goat in the Bible.”

If she could create her own name, Viridiana said that she’d go by Vidi, an abbreviation of the name she shares with her mother because “it is easier to pronounce” without changing the connection she has. Jalen White, one of the two students who share Viridiana’s last name, already goes by his nickname, as his first name is actually Hanas.

One thing that Viridiana has in common with Jalen is family connections at Armijo. “My brother (Davonte Martinez) and sister (Daija Daniels) went to Armijo,” said Jalen. For

Hanas “Jalen” White

Viridiana, it is her step-cousin, Jalen Rosemond. “She’s a senior and will graduate in 2021. We’re related because my mom’s sister married her dad.”

While COVID-19 hasn’t had much effect on Jalen’s education, since he has not had a high school experience until this school year, Viridiana has noticed many challenges. “COVID-19 has impacted my experience this year by being distant with most of my friends, staying at home, gaining weight from not going out too much, and being on social media a lot,” she said. One of her solutions is to start boxing, a sport she’s wanted to start for a while.

Jalen has found the Coronavirus to restrict his athletic plans. “I would have been playing

Deonte White

three different sports if it wasn’t for COVID-19: basketball, football and track…I was on the football team before we got shut down but I’m going to play next year when COVID has died down,” he said.

Another thing they have in common is that they both plan to go to college. Viridiana wants to study law and either become a lawyer or go into the FBI while Jalen hopes to attend a college on a football scholarship.

A third student, Deonte White, shares his last name with Viridiana and Jalen, but he did not respond to interview requests.

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