Though Alejandro Apud spent much of his life in the desert, he was equally at home on the ice. His burgeoning hockey career led him to move away from home in 2018 to play for traveling junior hockey teams based out of first Louisiana then Connecticut. To balance his collegiate athletics and academic pursuits, Apud turned to ASU Prep Digital. He graduated this month along with 291 classmates in the ASU Prep class of 2020.
Apud moved to the Scottsdale area from Mexico when he was in the seventh grade. He moved away his junior year of high school to play for under-21 hockey leagues that often feed players into college teams. This year, he traveled between Arizona and Connecticut to train for his hockey season.
Though he was far from home and one of the youngest players on his team, the experience provided Apud many opportunities to travel around the East Coast to compete. “It’s a pathway to college,” said Apud, who recently turned 18.
While Apud is a serious and focused scholar, his rigorous hockey practice schedule required greater flexibility than what could be provided by an average high school. With practices going from about 8 a.m. to noon, there was no time to go to a local school. That’s what led him to ASU Prep Digital.
“It allowed me to keep going to school. … It allowed me to manage my time,” he said. “And the main thing that caught my eye is I was able to take college classes at the same time at ASU along with normal classes. I really liked that.”
Apud’s goal is to get a commitment from a D1 school for hockey, and his dream schools are Notre Dame University and Cornell University because of their programs in architecture and civil engineering.
His interest in hockey, engineering and architecture stemmed from the construction of an arena near his home in Mexico when he was growing up. He remembers stopping by the arena after school and watching his father work with architects as the arena was built. Apud was fascinated by the architectural process from start to finish. He had the opportunity to take college classes in civil engineering and environmental engineering through ASU Prep Digital to get a preview of what his future majors would be like.
Once the arena was open to the public, Apud began figure skating there. He saw a hockey team practicing one day and told his parents that he wanted to give it a try. Apud continued playing in Arizona and now plays center and wing for the Connecticut Chiefs in the Eastern Hockey League.
“(Hockey) is something that makes me a better person. It gives me a vision, something to work hard for every day … and you can just never get enough of it,” he said.
Apud said that although time management was an issue for him at first, his ASU Prep Digital counselor sent him some resources that helped him develop a schedule and get disciplined. Now that he’s graduated, he’s looking forward to what’s next and reflecting on a high school experience that he was able to customize for his athletic and academic goals.
“I just think it was the best option for me,” he said.
Written by Claire Muranaka and Hannah Moulton Belec, EOSS Marketing
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