Aili Wiggins strives for success


Submitted by: Aili Wiggins

Aili Wiggins smiles for her senior photo with high hopes for the future.

Aili Wiggins is a greatly accomplished senior full of ambition and positivity. Wiggins is a highly evolved Buena bulldog with many academic and athletic achievements throughout her high school career. Wiggins has been an ambitious student eager to learn and get involved since her freshman year. Wiggins expressed how she “tried to do as much as she could to take advantage of high school” since the very beginning. 

She shared that she stepped out of her comfort zone and joined the cross country team during her freshman year at Buena which is something she “never would have imagined doing before”.  She continued running cross country throughout her sophomore year and even ran long distance track for the bulldogs. Wiggins’ experience in cross country and track was one full of positivity and “sweet and supportive” teammates. 

Wiggins joined her first AP course at Buena during her sophomore year of high school as well. She enrolled in AP European history and joined Key Club which she decided to join because she really liked “the idea of volunteering and giving back to the community”. In Wiggins’ junior year she decided to enroll in almost all AP courses. She took AP chemistry, AP United States history, AP Spanish, AP calculus AB, AP Language, and lastly journalism. 

Joining journalism was a “defining class” for Wiggins. She conveyed that being a part of the class encouraged her to “get out of [her] shell a lot”.  She especially “loved the creative aspects” of being in journalism which eventually led to her becoming layout editor for Buena Speaks during the 2019-2020 school year. Former Buena speaks journalism advisor Heather Burris expressed how Wiggins’ “natural skill”, “gentle leadership”, and “ability to work with others” lead to her position as layout editor for Buena speaks.  

“Aili is one of the most kind and selfless people I have ever met. She is considerate and incredibly motivated both creatively and academically.”

— Eliana Hernandez, Junior

During her senior year Wiggins continued being involved in multiple advanced placement courses including AP Physics, AP Government, AP Economics, AP Calculus BC, AP Literature, and journalism. Wiggins communicated how the community that developed within her AP courses over the years was “insane”. She felt like everyone in her classes were friends which was “rare” and “unique” to her and her class. 

Also during her senior year at Buena, Wiggins became the key club president which was “such a great experience” for her. She especially enjoyed planning activities for the club members. She also felt that the “community within the club was strong”. Although her favorite aspect of being a part of the club was “watching it grow” and witnessing “kids investing their time in the community”. 

Some of Wiggins’ favorite hobbies and activities include going thrift shopping and working at The Habit Burger Grill. She particularly enjoys thrift shopping because it is therapeutic for her while being “good for the environment”. 

Wiggins will be attending the University of New Mexico after high school after receiving  a full ride scholarship to the school. She will be studying architecture at the university which allows for her to “align all [her] passions for creating, designing, planning, and some math too”. 

Her favorite teachers at Buena include none other than Mrs. Burris, the former journalism advisor, Mr. Smith her chemistry teacher, Mr. Schuster her physics teacher, and Mr. Allmen her calculus teacher. 

When asked about what advice she would offer to upcoming high schoolers Wiggins stated, “Make the most of your time in high school. For the class of 2020, our senior year was cut short and you don’t know when things like that will happen. That’s why it’s so important to make the most of the present. Be a yes person!” 

Wiggins applies her positive outlook on life to everything she does. She radiates her positive attitude to everyone around her and is more than willing to help anyone who may need it. Fellow journalism classmate and friend Eliana Hernandez expressed, “Aili is one of the most kind and selfless people [she] has ever met. She is kind and considerate and incredibly motivated both creatively and academically.” 

Overall, Wiggins’ outstanding character and kindheartedness is prevalent in everything she pursues. Her ability to “work well with others” and “natural creative talent” according to Burris, will allow for success wherever life may take her.