Duke-bound NC student becomes 1st in family finish high school

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – The region has thousands of high school senior graduating this week. A lot of stories exist about students being the first in their families to go to college.

For one J.H. Rose senior, he’s the first to graduate high school. The future Blue Devil is dedicated to breaking down barriers.

During graduation season, you’ll see a host of proud parents, a number inspiring performances and a lot of smiles. For one senior in the East, graduating high school and crossing the stage is something nobody in his family has done.

“It means that anything can happen,” said Jair Nino-Espino, a JH Rose graduate.

Nino-Espino was born in Mexico City and moved to the United States when he was three. He’s one of the only people in his family who speaks English.

After years of hard work, he got his diploma and all the hardware to match.

“It doesn’t matter where you come from or the color of your skin. You can achieve anything if you really want to,” Nino-Espino said.

The future Duke Blue Devil hopes to one day silence the stereotypes about Hispanics. He wants to inspire his Latino brothers and sisters to follow suit.

“I never let that define who I was and they shouldn’t either,” he said. The goal for Nino-Espino is to simply make his family proud. “I might not have a big family here the United States, but I know they’re at home supporting me all the way.”

For the ones who are here, they want to let their son know how much today means.

“I’m proud about my son,” Jair’s mom Martina Espino Trejo said.

Jair’s aunt said, “I feel really really excited and proud for him.”

Nino-Espino will go off to Duke in the fall. Thanks to a number of scholarships, his education will be paid for.

J.H. Rose’s graduation is one of three that took place at Minges Coliseum Friday. Ceremonies will continue throughout the weekend.

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