Paramount, CA – Paramount High School senior Desiree Renteria struggled to contain her emotions as she looked out at the cheering students, family members and homemade signs that filled her school’s gymnasium.
Renteria was at the center of the excitement on May 17 during a ceremony that celebrated her signing a letter of intent to play softball at Howard University in the fall. She is the first Paramount High School student to earn a Division I softball scholarship.
“It means so much to be first because it shows everyone else that they can do it, too,” Renteria said. “It’s taken a lot of hard work to get here. There were times when I wanted to cry because I felt the stress of my workload, but I had so much support. Paramount is like a big family and everyone pushed me to be better.”
During the celebration, several Paramount High students donned Howard shirts and hats in support of Renteria. Interim Principal Dr. Damon Dragos spoke of her tireless work ethic, while Renteria’s high school and club softball coaches joined family members in honoring her.
“We’re so proud of what she’s accomplished,” Paramount softball coach John Guggiana said. “We’re hoping this is the start of great things to happen for our athletic program and opens doors for future players.”
Renteria has pushed herself throughout high school on and off the softball field. As a pitcher and infielder, she is a duel threat and serves as a team leader. In the classroom, she is an honors and AP student with a 3.9 GPA who is set to complete Paramount’s career technical education (CTE) Patient Care Pathway Medical program.
At Howard, she will receive a combination of athletic and academic scholarships that will cover her cost of attendance.
Renteria’s signing is the latest honor for a rising athletics program at Paramount High. In fall 2016, PHS senior Cianna Andrews signed to play volleyball at Sacramento State. In March, the boys varsity soccer squad captured the CIF-SS Division I Regional championship.
“Our athletic programs instill discipline in our students, which helps them pursue success in other arenas,” Paramount Superintendent Dr. Ruth Pérez said. “Desiree is a shining example of what our students can achieve when they stay committed to their goals and lean on the strength of our community.”
052417_PARAMOUNT_SIGNING: Paramount High School held a signing ceremony on May 17 to celebrate senior Desiree Renteria who was awarded a Division I scholarship to play softball at Howard University.