Andrea Cordova and Julia Wascher: They’re two seniors at Nogales High School I met this spring.

I think that I’ve had the best four years of my life here, says Wascher.

Though they both go to school together, they have very different stories.

I live in Mexico, Cordova tells me. I have to cross the border everyday.

For the past four years, Cordova’s mornings have started early before her long commute.

My alarm goes off at 5 am,” says Cordova. “I shower [at] 5:30 and then I have to be out of the house by 6. Then I make it here by 7:20.

Her afternoons aren’t much different:

“The way back is way shorter I feel, like 30, 40 maybe.”

All to get an education on this side of the borderit’s an educational commitment that comes with a price.

“The majority of our students are U.S. residents,” says Tim Colgate, Nogales High School Principal. “If they do commute, they do have to pay tuition.”

Colgate explained, “we receive money from the federal government, from the state for each student. And really what it does, it mirrors that…so the students pay the fee for their education just like the state would for U.S. citizens.

According to Cordova, her parents are paying $780 dollars each month for her to attend school here in the U.S.

But I do feel like the education is way better here, Cordova says.

“And I think the families too really the stress the importance of getting an education in the United States because they know how valuable it is, says Colgate.

That’s especially true at a school like Nogales High.

When we look at our graduation rate being a 95% or higher and the fact that we are an ‘A’ school and we continue to push limits in all of our academic programs, Colgate says.

Where students are pushed to new heights, and dreams are achieved.

I’ll be attending Stanford University on a full ride, Wascher told me.

Cordova told me, Going to the U of A, to the University of Arizona or California, I kind of wanted to go there.

So when I asked Cordova if this commute was worth it, she said yes.

I’m really grateful to live in a border state and attend school here.

And when I asked if the money was worth it, she also said yes.

Anyone who wants to pursue it should definitely go for it,” Cordova says. “It is worth it. Its a lot of work but its definitely worth it.

So while Cordova and Wascher have had two very different experiences as students at Nogales High, they are both on the same path of success because of the education they got here in the United States.

I can’t thank the school enough for all the opportunities I’ve gotten here, says Wascher.