Cadet Justine: Straight A, tennis champ, Daddy’s gem

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BACOLOD CITY – Justine Dondonay is known in school as a Straight A student and a “junior sensation” who “keeps bringing home prestigious accolades,” says an article on the school’s website.

Justine Dondonay, seen here with father Enrique, is not just a excelling in academics but in everything she sets her heart into, including sports. | Photo taken with permission from Justine Dondonay's Facebook page.
Justine Dondonay, seen here with father Enrique, is not just a excelling in academics but in everything she sets her heart into, including sports. | Photo taken with permission from Justine Dondonay’s Facebook page.

Josh Stimac, the school’s head coach, was quoted by the writer, Dan Lovi, to have said Justine’s feat is “amazing,” not only because “she’s put in so much hard work into her tennis game” but “she is also a full-fledged student taking a full load of honors and AP classes…”

But it is not only Justine’s athletic prowess that makes her stand out. To Stimac, Justine is a “complete” person. “In my mind when I have players I look for complete people.”

Stimac cited Justine’s loss to Cassie Wooten, which Justine celebrated “as if she had won herself, which speaks to her character and sportsmanship.”

If Justine is a performer on and off the court, at home she is a “very obedient daughter, God fearing, hardworking,” her father, Enrique told DNX.

“Justine for us is a gem, full of humility and very talented,” Enrique said.

Those values, of course, were taught to her by her parents, Enrique and Lynsie all natives of this city who migrated to the US in 2001.

Justine, who is studying at Golden Valley High in Sta. Clarita, California, is the first athletic scholar from her district to have gained admission into West Point, the elite military institution that counts among its graduates former Philippine President Fidel V. Ramos and American five-star general Douglas McArthur who became Field Marshal of the Philippine Army.

Enrique said Justine believes that attending West Point “will not only prepare her for her future but also in pursuing a civilian career path” and serving in the military “would fulfill her desire to give back to her country and instill (in her) a greater purpose in life.”

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