The student news site of West Chicago Community High School

Wildcat Chronicle

The student news site of West Chicago Community High School

Wildcat Chronicle

The student news site of West Chicago Community High School

Wildcat Chronicle

Humans of WEGO: Finding the music in everyday life

Senior Sebastian Alvarez-Soto is known for his eclectic taste in music and kind heart.
Photo by Emily Ziajor
Senior Sebastian Alvarez-Soto looks on as the Homecoming pep assembly gets underway in September 2023.

Bjork. Caroline Polachek. Athel Cain. PJ Harvey. Rosa Pastel. Sky Ferreira. Tori Amos. La factoria. Ayumi Hamasaki. Arca. 

All words from a foreign language? No. All are artists who produced songs that senior music enthusiast Sebastian Alvarez-Soto is really fond of. 

Most of his peers know Alvarez is incredibly into music. His interests range from reggae to techno to progressive rock, and several others in between.

A young Sebastian Alvarez celebrates with family; his connections with other people have paved the way for his future career as a social worker. (Photo courtesy of Sebastian Alvarez-Soto)

“I’m a music freak, or in my own terms, because I don’t listen to, like, I hate saying this on recording, but I’m underground…I’m kidding. But usually I have a taste that’s very different from people. I could have similar tastes with other people, but my enjoyment for music is very broad,” Alvarez said.

Throughout his years, Alvarez has been considered by his peers to be a shy extrovert: whenever he is around friends and family, he is the light of the party, but when he is alone, Alvarez feels he can just be himself. In addition to listening to a lot of music, he also dreams of becoming a professional DJ in the future.

“DJ? Well, no, that’s a side hustle, baby. I would. I still like thinking about possibilities,” Alvarez said, explaining his desire to become a millionaire. 

In all seriousness, Alvarez sees himself working in “a job that allows me to help others and be a resource and be someone to depend on.”

Alvarez is also known for being a good communicator: he is the person in his friend group that people go to when they have something to say or when they need someone to hear them out. 

“I believe that Sebastian is a very admirable, hard-working person. He’s always the first to lend a hand and brings laughter in a room he’s in! For me, he’s been a great addition to my life, and I know I can depend on him,” senior Nathalia Hernandez, one of Alvarez’s best friends, said.

That is why this senior has been thinking of continuing his learning after high school in order to become a social worker. 

“Sebastian loves other people and it is an obvious fit for him to be a social worker,” English teacher Shannon Sanchez said.

For Alvarez, the quest to become a social worker is centered around a desire to connect with others.

“One of the reasons is I also really love engaging with people, like I can’t go [a] day without having a conversation with someone,” Alvarez said.

Alvarez is a standout in the classroom for his frequent participation and ability to make a good first impression, according to Sanchez, who first met this Human of WEGO when he was a freshman in English I.

Alvarez rings in the Christmas season at a department store; this time of the year holds important memories of his grandma. (Photo courtesy of Sebastian Alvarez-Soto)

“I would love to see him as a teacher and I would love to have him come back to student teach with me, but if he wants to be a social worker, I would be delighted to twist arms in HR to have him come here,” Sanchez said.

While his cheery attitude is notable, Alvarez’s story paints a vivid picture of resilience and responsibility. From the tender age of five, he and his older brother have been the linguistic bridge for his parents, translating English for them. This task, born out of necessity when he learned English from “Sesame Street”, has been a constant in his life. He has navigated the complexities of two languages, a task that was not just about language, but also ensuring his parents’ understanding to prevent any potential issues that could arise from miscommunication. 

“We felt the pressure that we had to get every word right so we can deliver the message, directly translate, in a way that they understand, in a way that they can comprehend,” Alvarez said.

Family has long been important to Alvarez. His grandma’s visit during Christmas when he was eight or nine was a special occasion for his family, and an emotional time, as Alvarez recalls his dad had not seen his own mother for half his life. According to him, the visit was filled with joy, connection, and love, and he remembers celebrating hard. However, the goodbye was tough. Everyone was emotional, but as a child, Alvarez did not fully understand why, as he was busy playing with his Christmas gifts, and failed to realize it would be the last time he would ever see  his grandmother.

Best friend Nathalia Hernandez, also a senior, and Alvarez. Both are known for their strong sense of humor. (Photo courtesy of Sebastian Alvarez-Soto)

“Little did I know. That was like the last first and the only time I would see her. So it kind of hurt. But I don’t blame myself for that. Because I was naïve, and I was still, like, somewhat hopeful to see her again,” Alvarez said.

The experience made Alvarez appreciate his family even more. Now, he focuses on “enjoying the gift of life. Like, looking around. And being grateful for the family I was born in, like, the love I receive from my family,” Alvarez said.

Alvarez is also incredibly proud of his heritage, describing himself as “Mexican, one-hundred percent.” For him, there is an emotional pull whenever he sees others honoring the culture.

“Whenever I see a video of people being proud of who they are, and proud of Mexican heritage, it never fails me to, like, start tearing up,” Alvarez said. 

And while his culture is an important aspect of who Alvarez is, what really makes this Human of WEGO stand out is his heart. 

He is a good person who looks out for others – this is the quality that I think really sets him apart from others,” Social Studies teacher John Chisholm said.

In fact, Alvarez is a welcome addition to the WCCHS community.

“Sebastian is the perfect candidate for a ‘Humans of WEGO’ article. When I saw him on my AP list I was over the moon. I was so excited to see who he had grown up to be. He was just as curious and driven as he had been as a freshie,” Sanchez said.

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About the Contributors
Daniel Guzman, Reporter
Daniel Guzman is a dedicated athlete who is entering his fourth season as a wrestler at WCCHS. He enjoys weight lifting and hanging out at the gym.
Emily Ziajor, Multimedia Manager
Emily Ziajor is a WEGO senior in her second year of journalism. She attended the National High School Journalism Convention last November, and thoroughly loved the experience. She is a Polish-American (she finished her final year of Polish School in the spring of 2023) with a creative soul and high aspirations. When it comes to writing, she has a sharp imagination, and one of her true passions is photography. Emily is a multi-year member of the AV Club at West Chicago Community High School.
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