More than a king

Senior royalty eyes dreams of changing the world


Brittney Dear, Editor

“And the title for Homecoming King goes to….”

The gymnasium goes silent, all heads craned toward the announcer. Everyone exchanges wary glances, their expressions silently asking, “Who will it be?”

The announcer breathes in, and looks up at the students as his hand clutches the microphone just a little bit tighter.

Ricardo Reina.”

The crowd goes crazy, clapping and whistling with excitement.

Ricardo Reina is the first ever Homecoming King of Braswell High School.

“At that very moment they said my name, I [didn’t] really know how I felt,” Reina said. “The more I thought about it, the more I realized people had respect for me, a lot more people really enjoyed my presence, and I felt really good about myself.”

Reina admits he expected to win the title.

“I knew I went up against a lot of competitors, but as the days went by, leading to that moment, I really didn’t see or hear people voting for them,” Reina said, shrugging. “I wasn’t going to [be hurt] if I lost or anything… I [just] won the game.”

But Reina plans to achieve much more than earning the title of Homecoming King. One of his goals is to graduate from the University of Oklahoma.

“I visited the campus, talked to a few teachers, and it felt like home there. The University of Oklahoma is where my journey is going to take me and that’s exactly where I’m going to follow,” Reina said. “I paid my enrollment fee, and now it’s a matter of graduating.”

Reina’s father attended the University of Oklahoma, which led Reina to look more into the school.

“I was really happy when I found out I got accepted,” Reina said. “I just knew that once I got accepted, it wasn’t about me going to college, it was about me taking a step up in my life. I still have a long way to go, and I just hope with the grace of God that I will get blessed, and I will be blessed, and I know I will.”

While attending Oklahoma, Reina plans to study electrical engineering.

“Electronics has always been my passion,” Reina said. “I knew that electronics would be the one thing I’d do for the rest of my life.”

During his sophomore year of high school, Reina took the Electronics 1 class and moved his way up from there. He is currently taking his final electronics course at the ATC. He also earned some electronics certifications along the way. He plans to one day use all of this information for the greater good.

“One of my dreams is to figure out how to find an infinite source of power. Gas is very efficient, but at the same time, gas has a lot of pollution, and it’s destroying the world,” Reina said.

Through research, Reina has already come up with theories of his own concerning the world’s future use of energy.  

“I feel that there is a more advanced way [of energy] through batteries, but solar is what I’m looking at,” Ricardo said. “We need to figure out how to obtain solar energy more efficiently. One day we’ll figure out a way, and hopefully, I’ll be in that room.”

But, until then, Reina plans to use his skills in electronics for other things. He is focusing mainly on circuitry, such as learning how to make circuits and fixing electronics at home.

“I am a tinker,” Reina said. “I like to look up random things when I get home [and] mess around with tasers and laser beams. I also fix computers [and find] ways to innovate and extend my knowledge.”

Reina said if engineering doesn’t work out, he will major in business, which is his second choice.

“I’d probably just make a business out of something,” Reina said, his eyes drifting. “I’d be an entrepreneur… just like Tony Stark.”

Reina considers himself to be hard-working and driven, especially when it comes to his future.

“I really want to be successful in life,” Reina said. “I want to grow up. I want to get a degree in whatever I end up doing. Hopefully, I meet the girl of my dreams at college. Then, [I will] start a family. Hopefully by then, I’ll have a business that I started myself. My end goal is to have a successful life, my priorities being success, family and love.”

Reina was born in Panama and moved to the United States when he was 2. He has lived in Texas for about 16 years.

“My parents wanted more opportunity for me and my brothers,” Reina said. “I’ve grown to really enjoy the culture here and [have] really enjoyed meeting people that I have encountered every day. I hope that one day I can leave my mark on the world so they know exactly where I came from.”

Reina played soccer for Ryan High School during his freshman and sophomore years. When he came to Braswell, he instead took the role of drum major for Braswell’s marching band and remained drum major throughout his junior year. His main hobbies today include tinkering, dominating in “Hearthstone” and lots of socializing.

“Socializing is very important to me,” Reina said. “I feel like socializing is how you find great people in your life. It’s how you get close to those people in your life, and it’s how you make yourself a better person. You meet people that will increase your humor … your intelligence … and your emotional state.”

Reina acknowledges the fact that he has a strong voice, and he claims that he isn’t afraid to argue his point. By being a part of Key Club, as well as being the secretary of the Senior Class, Reina is always looking for ways to help innovate and make the class as efficient as it can be, his strong voice being an advantage.

“Helping people and changing people’s lives is the most important thing to do as a human,” Reina said. “It’s a good feeling to have in your heart — knowing that you can make a difference.”

In the end, Reina is much more than just the Homecoming King. He has many other goals, which he acknowledges are far more important than a crown. The title of Homecoming King is just the beginning.

“[The crown] is at home on my nightstand,” Reina said. “I wake up every day and look at it. I realize how awesome I am, and then I go to school.”