Jenny Mireles, a junior at Nimitz High School, is paving the way for other females to pursue their dreams, even if they’re in the minority.
Marlenis Alvarez, Mireles’ mother, knew her daughter was special at an early age- she had tenacity, commitment and grit. All traits that made Alvarez encourage Mireles to join the school’s wrestling team.
“I encouraged Jenny to join wrestling because of her inner and outer strength,” says Alvarez. “When she trained in jiu-jitsu, she would sometimes train with men to prepare for her tournaments, and many times they would tell me that she was strong. I didn’t see it until I finally grappled with her, and her physical strength shook me. I was not expecting to feel so much power from her tiny body. I then realized that she possessed a strength that she could use in sports. I encouraged her to join wrestling because I knew that would make her happy, and now she’s a happy girl taking down and pinning her opponent.”
Mireles took her mother’s advice and joined the team at MacArthur High, later transferring to Nimitz High. Now in her third season, Mireles is incredibly grateful for the lessons she’s learned on and off the mat.
“Wrestling has taught me discipline. It keeps my grades high and makes me do homework when I don’t want to,” says Mireles. “It’s the same on the mat. We have respect for each other and work hard during practice.”
This experience, along with her involvement in the city of Irving’s Law Enforcement Explorers program, is preparing her for a bright future as a police officer. As an explorer, Mireles is getting an inside look into the life of a cop, being trained in accident investigations, crime scene searches, drug warrant arrests, hostage negotiations and other police activity.
“I really want to become a police officer and help others. Through the Explorers program, you get real-life training that police officers get at my age and it’s helped a lot,” Mireles says. “I’m pretty new to it, but I love it a lot already.”
Once Mireles finishes her high school career with a diploma in hand, she’ll head to SMU to obtain her bachelor’s degree and then pursue a spot at the police academy.
Her bright future is a tribute to the characteristics her mother saw in her as a little girl. No matter the climb, she was always a step ahead. That’s what makes her a trailblazer.