Aaron Resendez, Student Congress President

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Why seek such a demanding student position?

I wanted to make a difference and be able to connect with students. I remember coming to freshman orientation. The Student Congress president wore a suit, and I didn’t want to go up and talk to him. So during orientation this year, I wore a Polo shirt and khakis, and I talked to a lot of students. I think it made me more approachable.

What’s it like to swing the gavel during meetings?

Every time I use the gavel, it reminds me of the promises I’ve made to the more than 33,000 students to represent them in every way I can. When I was sworn in, I actually forgot to use the gavel to adjourn the meeting until the parliamentarian reminded me. The whole experience was exciting, and I guess it got the best of me.

What’s the story on the broken board in your office?

It’s from a leadership retreat. I had to write my biggest fear on it, and what was holding me back was the fear of failure. I broke that with my hand. Every time I look at that board, I keep going and push forward.

What do you like best about being in the Goolsby Leadership Academy?

Getting to meet chief executives is one of my favorite things. You learn that nobody’s perfect. We’ve met executives who were part of a big company and it crumbled. You have your moral compass, and you continue forward and do what’s right.

What are your plans after you graduate in December?

I want to get some field experience in management. Later on, I want to go back to school to learn culinary skills and then manage my own hotel and restaurant.

Do you cook?

I’ve always had a passion for cooking. My mom taught us to cook and sent us to classes. When I was in middle school or high school, everybody wanted me to bake for them because I bake from scratch. Give me a recipe, and I’ll try it. If it doesn’t work, then I’ll try it again and see what went wrong.

You faced a big hurdle just a few years ago.

I had heart surgery in high school. It was a rough time. I had extra nerves in my heart. Everyone has them when they’re born, but mine didn’t die off like everyone else’s. My beats would go up to 200, 300 per minute and cause me to faint. I had surgery in El Paso and later in Houston. They froze the extra nerves to make them die off. I’m fine now and meet with a cardiologist regularly.

Does it keep you from doing anything you want to do?

I loved roller coasters growing up. After I had my surgery, it took me a while to think I could do it again. This past summer my parents, my sister, and brother came to visit me, and we went to Six Flags. With my siblings, I was able to do it. Peer pressure.

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