October 05, 2022

Champion Spotlight: Miguel Jimenez

Miguel Jimenez is a senior at Kennedy High School. While balancing academics and extra-curricular activities including honor band and sports, he enjoys sharing what he’s learned with younger student-athletes on his track and cross-country teams.

Building on his lifelong interest in science, participating in classes at the TGR Learning Lab allowed Miguel to broaden his understanding and discover aligned career paths while developing transferrable skills. 

He recently took time to reflect on his experience and the impact of TGR Foundation’s programs throughout his academic career.

Miguel Jimenez reflects on memories at the TGR Learning Lab before beginning his freshman year of high school.

TGR Foundation: The TGR Learning Lab recently relaunched its programs, what is your favorite memory at the campus? 

Miguel Jimenez: One of my favorite memories was when I first got into golf. I mean my mom told me I should do it. Me, my mom and my sister all went, and she told us it was a Saturday and they had golf that day we came and then I didn’t like it.  Every day I would come here to do homework and then I would go to my classes; one day I finished all my homework. My friend said to come down let’s do some golf. After that, I just learned, and I loved it. It was something that I never did, it was a sport that made me calm, it was peaceful. Ever since I would take a session where I would do a class and then I would do golf.

TGRF: How have you used the skills and experiences you gained through TGR Foundation programs?

MJ: The TGR Learning Lab helped me a lot in making friends, learning how to take notes, and teaching me new things. When I would go into my new classes in high school, I was able to apply that. When I got into high school, I just didn’t know anyone. Because I learned how to make friends here, I felt more comfortable making friends at Kennedy High School. I knew that I was going to be OK. When I learned certain things here like chemistry or biology I would go into my next class and already have a good understanding.

Miguel Jimenez gathers with TGR Learning Lab instructor, Doug Luong, for a photo during family night after sharing what he learned in a robotics class.

TGRF: How did taking classes/ participating in the after-school program impact your relationship with your sister?

MJ: It was interesting to see what kind of classes she would choose because I would do a robotics class and she would do a biology class and we would then talk about it at the end of the day. We would drive home with my parents, and we talk about what we did in class, how much fun we are having and how things are different from class to class. Sometimes we would take the same class with different sessions.

TGRF: What advice would you give to other students interested in participating in TGR Learning Lab programs?

MJ: I think it’s really helpful if you come to the learning lab. I didn’t want to come at first because I just didn’t know what to do. I was scared; it was like joining another school and moving to a new place, but the community, the teachers and everyone here is really helpful. They’re all out here trying to help you do better and see what you like. There’s always someone there to help you when you’re here.

Miguel greets his older sister Amelie before participating in a track meet with his Kennedy High School track and cross country teams.

TGRF: What’s your passion?

MJ: I’ve been running ever since elementary. I would always think that running was my thing; then I came to TGR Learning Lab. I did golf; I did classes. I made new friends, and I learned that I actually like science. Science was a big thing for me even when I was little. Anything that has to do with science I would enjoy but I didn’t know what it was. I would just know that I just liked the experiments. I liked how things were being done and I never understood why. When I came to the learning lab, I understood finally why I liked it.

TGRF: Who have been champions in your life?

MJ: My parents have been big champions, my friends, my mentors, my teachers, and everyone who’s helped me ever since I started high school and middle school. I feel like everyone who has impacted me in my life so far has been a champion.

Miguel, his mom and his younger sister visit the TGR Learning Lab to celebrate the relaunch.


TGRF: How are you paying your experiences forward?

MJ: Everyone has been helping me since I got into middle school and high school, and I wanted to do the same and help others by allowing them to learn from me. In running so far, I’ve learned so much from my freshman year. Since COVID hit all the juniors and seniors left and it was up to me to teach the younger generation of runners what to do and how to do things. I’ve been teaching them, and it makes me happy just seeing how I’m able to teach what I was taught.



At TGR Foundation we believe everyone can be a champion. In this series, we highlight champions in our community from educators, volunteers and corporate partners to students lifting as they climb.

Visit TGRFoundation.org/champions to learn more about our programs’ impact and ways to get involved.