Brambila-Rico brings delight to SHS halls

Brambila-Rico plans to major in Natural Resources at Sheridan College, taking her talents beyond high school. (Photo courtesy Brambila-Rico)

Brambila-Rico plans to major in Natural Resources at Sheridan College, taking her talents beyond high school. (Photo courtesy Brambila-Rico)

   Communicating in fluent English and Spanish is a large feat in itself. Despite the great challenge, senior Cristal Brambila-Rico continues to amaze day after day. “It is not easy learning English and going to school at the same time, yet Cristal has found a way to do that,” said Spanish teacher Kathy Good. Good has had Brambila-Rico for Spanish 2, Spanish 3 and AP Spanish. 

   Growing up in a Latino family, Brambila-Rico has had to adapt to be able to understand her studies at school. “Sometimes it can get very complicated,” said Brambila-Rico. “To battle it, I will watch shows in both English and Spanish, focusing on the English shows closer to the school year.” In seventh grade, she was able to pass the English fluency test, meaning she does not need any help translating or understanding content anymore. 

   Ever since, Brambila-Rico has made it her goal to be involved with others and take advantage of the opportunities present. Starting around October, Brambila-Rico has assisted adults in learning English at the Bethesda Worship Center. Every Sunday at 1 p.m., she can be found translating and working with another teacher to bring a sense of confidence for the students when going out into the everyday world. Currently, the group is working on the basics such as the alphabet and numbers. The class works on one concept for around two weeks before moving on to the next. “We do not necessarily see her in a lot of school activities, but then we find out that she is involved in these other things like teaching English in the community,” said Good. “That is something that I think is really cool about her personality. She is not a really up front, in your face type leader, and yet she is leading in ways we do not really see.”

   During her freshman and senior year, Brambila-Rico attended the Wyoming Latina Youth Conference. This conference works on empowering students and getting them interested in education. At the conference, students take a variety of classes and small courses such as business classes. “The Latina conference this year was so fun and amazing,” said Brambila-Rico. “It made me really look forward to college.” Towards the end of the conference, the girls can participate in a formal dance and dinner. This year, around 10 girls participated in the events.

   In the years Brambila-Rico has participated in the conference, “Cristal winded up being a leader there too amongst the girls we took,” said Good. “She was a very active participant and she is willing to help wherever needed. She also encouraged others to get involved.”

   Brambila-Rico also is a part of her family business running El Rodeo Taco Truck, also known as the Taco Bus, which takes up most of her time. “She can cook like no other; I love her food,” said senior Jayda Park. “Her mom’s food is also amazing. Whenever I go to the Taco Bus, her mom makes me a burrito and it is so good.”

   Park and Brambila-Rico have been friends since sixth grade, and Park thoroughly enjoys Brambila-Rico’s kindness. “Cristal is absolutely amazing and she is the kindest person I know,” said Park. Good also is genuinely thankful for Brambila-Rico’s ability to bring a smile each and every day. “It does not matter, Cristal will take you into her group,” said Good. “She is a very open-minded young lady and she is an achiever in so many ways.

   She also enjoys activities such as skateboarding, biking, sledding and creating artwork with watercolor. 

   She has also taken a large interest in the natural world, planning to major in natural resources at Sheridan College. When she graduates, “I am going to miss the people,” said Brambila-Rico. “I might not know all of the people and the teachers, but just having the comfort of having them there every day is the best.”

   Brambila-Rico is the daughter of Gerardo Brambila H. and Emma Rico.