‘Foundation’ fortifies, lays out future career


Cody Casares / The Advocate

Outside hitter Alejandra Galvez plans to study software engineering after discovering a passion for computer programming and coding.

By Robert Clinton, Sports Editor

Nineteen years ago a young couple from Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico decided that the best way to ensure their daughter had the brightest future was to make the 1,900 mile trek to the Bay Area, settle down, and give her the opportunity to thrive.

And now, Comet volleyball player and outside hitter Alejandra Galvez is beginning to do just that.

The sophomore and future software engineer thought a career in medicine would be in her future. But after graduating from John Swett High School in 2015, Galvez found working with computers to be infinitely more rewarding.

“Writing code is great. It’s satisfying,” Galvez said. “To be able to go into a program and troubleshoot potential problems is fun. If everyone learned three languages of code in their lifetime, they’d be OK.”

Galvez interned at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory over the summer, in a move to get one step closer to her dream.

“I learned to troubleshoot IT problems and I got to write a little bit of code,” she said.

The older of two girls, Galvez began to play volleyball in middle school after feeling the need to try her hand at a sport.

“I wanted to try something else, but volleyball was all they offered,” Galvez said. “Eventually I grew to love the sport.”

The sophomore has made measurable improvement on the court for the Comets.

“She’s becoming a better all around player, more of a captain,” coach Christy Tianero said. “Last year she was quiet. Now she’s becoming more of a vocal leader.”

Tianero said, “All student-athletes on this level have busy schedules and they have to take things seriously just to remain eligible. But Alejandra shows a different level of commitment to being a student and an athlete.”

The path to success was not always so clear cut for the 19-year-old. As the child of undocumented parents, Galvez often worried that the worst was going to happen.

As a junior in high school, she applied for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

“Everyone was nervous for me. Other people going through the process discussed difficulties or rejections. My mom was hopeful,” Galvez said. “I was really upset that I wouldn’t get to go to the college that I wanted or that I would have to pay out-of-state fees. I didn’t want a limited future.”

Galvez received her DACA acceptance letter near the end of her junior year of high school.

“When I got the papers I was ecstatic. We were jumping up and down,” Galvez said.

With her path illuminated, she could again focus wholeheartedly on her future.

She hopes to continue playing volleyball when she transfers to a four-year college and although her team is not near the top of the Bay Valley Conference, she hopes to make a good showing in the California Community College Athletic Association Volleyball Sophomore Showcase, after the conference season is completed.

The showcase is a game put on by the CCCAA Dec. 5, roughly one month after the last game of the regular season. It serves as an exhibition for coaches and scouts from four-year universities to evaluate players they may have missed over the course of the season.

Galvez gets more than satisfying the urge to compete out of being a member of a team.

“The people you meet are great. When you go through a season with someone they become your family. You keep adding (family members) every year that you play,” Galvez said. “They are my sisters for life.”

Team is important to Galvez and judging by her teammates’ responses, they see her as family as well.

“Alejandra is definitely a solid foundation for our team and someone to look up to, like a big sister,” Comet right setter Joshleen Ayson said.

Galvez was a member of last year’s six-player team that dealt with the tragic news of the death of their coach, Zachary Shrieve.

“I met coach Shrieve at Super Saturday (a college-wide recruiting event), but I never got to know him personally. I could tell he was a good person,” Galvez said. “When he got sicker I had so much hope that he would get better and when Christy (Tianero) told us what happened it was like wow, this is so sad.”