Cristian Garay Araujo has thrived since coming to the United States from El Salvador as a seventh grader. Easygoing and polite, the Huntington High School senior gets along well with everyone and displays an impressive work ethic. He plans to study at SUNY Old Westbury and play soccer there for the college.
“I want to go to SUNY Old Westbury because it is close to home and I want to stay close to my family,” Mr. Garay Araujo said. “I also want to go there because I want to be working while I’m going to school.”
Huntington High School senior Cristian Garay Araujo.
The senior considered a handful of colleges north of the metropolitan area as well as in California and Florida, where he has family living, but SUNY Old Westbury always seemed to be the frontrunner.
“At Old Westbury I plan to study business management, “Mr. Garay Araujo said. “They have a good program I’m also playing soccer there and I know that they have a really good team. I know some of the people that are on the team and they have convinced me to join. I have talked to the coach and he has told me he has great ideas for team and I could really help it.”
The teenager is a very talented offensive player. Mr. Garay Araujo’s six goals and five assists placed him among Huntington’s leading scorers last fall.
“My goal is to go to college and graduate,” Mr. Garay Araujo said. “I will be the first one in my family to go. I came to the US in mid-eighth grade and have always worked really hard to make my family proud. Coming here from a different country is really hard because you come here to a whole different culture and you have to get used to it.”
The teenager has made good use of key individuals at Huntington High School for support and to help him plan for the future, including college and college athletics.
“I will always remember Huntington because I’ve met some of my really close friends here, including Eren Aydin, Juan Salamanca and Rudy Salmeron,” Mr. Garay Araujo said. “They’ve helped me hundreds of times when I needed it for something. I’ve made some great memories here with a lot of people.”
Mr. Garay Araujo is very family oriented and he feels an obligation to help them. He’s reliable, persistent and consistent. One of his daily stops has been in the high school athletic office on his way back to classes from lunch. It was there that he worked to develop plans for college and beyond.
The senior works hard in every class and Mr. Garay Araujo has been rewarded with a spot on the Huntington High School Honor Roll. He’s a good natured young man whose commendable qualities are appreciated by the faculty.
“One of my all-time favorite teachers is Mrs. [Lorena] Hickey,” Mr. Garay Araujo said. “I met her when I was in ninth grade and I had her as a teacher for two years. She helped me whenever I was struggling with something.”
Mr. Garay Araujo is already thinking about his college classes and playing soccer at SUNY Old Westbury. “I can’t wait,” he said.