Sebastian Nieto
Sebastian Nieto and his mother Candelaria Garza. Photo courtesy of Special Olympics Texas.

Special Olympics congratulates Sebastian Nieto, athlete and 2012 Exemplary Migrant Student


During its recent April 2nd ceremony, the Migrant Student Graduation Enhancement Program named Sebastian Nieto one of forty Exemplary Migrant Students for 2012. Sebastian was also the recipient of the program's Creative Award.

As recipient of the Creative Award, Sebastian was one of the five students awarded a $2,000 college scholarship during the ceremony. Each year, the Migrant Student Graduation Enhancement Program awards five scholarships through a grant from ExxonMobil. The four additional 2012 scholarships were awarded to Students of the Year Eric Guajardo and Jessica Reyna and their runners-up Aaron Mejia and Gabriela Romero.

Sebastian, an athlete who participates in bowling, basketball and track events with Special Olympics Texas, was congratulated on the Special Olympics website for his achievement.

"My talent is art. I paint, do clay sculptures and I draw. I started when I was a baby. Everyone likes my art. They always say, 'Oh Sebastian, that's nice,'" said Sebastian. "I like to draw, paint or sculpt about animation Disney characters like 'The Lion King,' 'Aladdin,' 'Beauty and the Beast' and 'The Little Mermaid.' I like to make magic with art."

Born and raised in Edinburg, Texas, Sebastian Nieto is the youngest son of Candelaria Garza. Every year, he migrates with his mother and older brother to Lafayette, Indiana, to detassel corn.

“Sebastian has overcome major obstacles in his lifetime,” said Sebastian’s migrant educator. At a young age, Sebastian was diagnosed with autism, a disorder that hinders a child’s ability to communicate, form relationships with others, and respond appropriately to the surrounding environment. “Sebastian has been an exception,” continued Sebastian’s migrant counselor. “Through the loving family and supportive environment that he was raised in, Sebastian learned to cope with his disability."

One of the things that motivates Sebastian to look past his challenges is his passion for art. “His work seems to convey his inner feelings and his way of projecting how he sees the world,” said Sebastian’s migrant educator. As a member of the school’s University Interscholastic League art team, Sebastian competed in the Virtual Arts Scholastic Event (VASE) and won a medal. “I competed against over a thousand students, and I ranked in the top 20 percent,” said Sebastian.

A recent graduate of Edinburg High School, Sebastian plans to go to college and become a professional artist.

Congratulations, Sebastian!

Click the images below to view larger versions of Sebastian Nieto's artwork.

Gisela Greco-Llamas, Sebastian Nieto, Candelaria Garza, Linda Glessner Sebastian Nieto Artwork on display artwork artwork
artwork artwork artwork artwork Sebastian Nieto


Tags: students, special olympics, sebastian nieto, migrant student recognition ceremony, migrant student program, migrant student graduation enhancement program, migrant, k-16 education center, jessica reyna, gabriela romero, eric guajardo, aaron mejia, 25th anniversary,