Assabet Valley honors the life of beloved student and athlete
By Ed Karvoski Jr., Contributing Writer
Region – Friends and family joined students and teammates Feb. 6 to posthumously induct Pablo Salcedo of Westborough into the National Honor Society (NHS) at Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School (AVRTHS) in Marlborough. Salcedo was a senior majoring in health technologies and captain of the soccer team. He died Jan. 5 in an auto accident in Westborough. The school hosted the celebration of Salcedo’s life on what would have been his 19th birthday.
Members of the AVRTHS NHS gave examples of how Salcedo exemplified the pillars of an inductee: scholarship, leadership, service and character. Matt Silva deemed Salcedo a successful student who balanced his attention between classes and extracurricular activities.
“He was the kind of student that all teachers want in their class,” Silva said. “He aspired to learn more and push himself to his limits to be the best he could possibly be.”
Jayson Pusateri noted that Salcedo demonstrated leadership on a daily basis.
“His encouragement and belief that you could accomplish anything urged people to try harder,” Pusateri said. “He was a successful leader in every aspect of his life.”
Jennifer Fortin, the NHS president, spoke about Salcedo’s dedication to his faith-based service. She cited his participation in the Ignited Youth program at the Metro Church in Marlborough.
“Pablo’s drive was inspiring and will never be forgotten,” Fortin said. “The lives that he touched will ultimately be changed because of the amazing gifts he had to always make people feel better.”
Megan Hollick stated the definition of “character,” adding that it perfectly describes Salcedo.
“Pablo’s character and attitude was so positive, from the hallways of school, to his church, and then out onto the sports field,” she said. “He was willing to become friends with anyone he met.”
Welcoming Salcedo into the NHS, students presented an induction pin and honor cord to his his mother, Maria Vega Lopez, and his sisters, Paola, Paula and Paulina.
A family friend, Luiz DaCosta, discussed Salcedo’s impact on everyone he encountered.
“If you feel like I do, then your life has changed since his life ended,” DaCosta said. “You’re probably a much nicer person now; much more patient and understanding and definitely you now have a much softer heart. He lived to show us that it doesn’t matter how you die; what’s important is how you live.”
Joseph DeCiele expressed his honor to have coached Salcedo with the soccer team. Metro Church Pastor Chad Braswell credited Salcedo for giving the best bear hug.
Kate Myer, NHS co-adviser, taught Salcedo in his freshman year.
“We’ll think back about Pablo and see him exactly as he was a month ago – a beautiful, handsome, strong, healthy young man in the prime of his life,” Myer said.
Carol Ortiz, the Student Council secretary, invited everyone to add their names to the over 200 students’ signatures on a banner pledging to not text and drive. Authorities determined Salcedo had texted at the time of the accident. Students also collected over $3,000 for the Salcedo family.
Photos/Ed Karvoski Jr.
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