Brittany Ruiz Memorial

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Once an Aztec, Always an Aztec

Freshman remembered for her sweet personality

By Mia Drake

 

Brittany Ruiz wasn’t the most popular girl in school.

 

She wasn’t the loudest or the funniest.

 

But to her family and friends, she was perfect. People who knew her said she was the sweetest and most gentle human being they knew. She never had a bad thing to say about anyone, and was there to lend a helping hand.

 

“She was the nicest person you’ll ever meet,” said sophomore Jocelyn Rodriguez, who was Brittany’s best friend. “She cared for everyone no matter who you were. She put everyone before herself.”

 

On Wednesday afternoon, friends and family gathered outside of the lobby to remember the life of a girl who was still at the beginning of it. Ruiz, 15, passed away May 30 in a tragic car accident on a trip back from New Mexico.

 

Yellow, gold and white balloons peppered the outdoor area near the lobby as close friends let go of them to honor her memory. During the memorial, friends shared their favorite memories about Brittany and the impact she’s left on her fellow classmates.

 

“She meant so much to me,” said sophomore Xyan Brooks. “I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that she’s gone.”

 

Since Brittany was a new Aztec, most knew her from her time at Hernando Middle School, including Principal Cynthia Retana.

 

“When you have a student pass like that, it’s such a tragic loss,” Retana said. “But, having her memory live on with something like this and having students recognize the impact she had in her short life is monumental.”

 

Ruiz’s mother and family members were present at the memorial. She will be memorialized in the yearbook, when it comes out later in May.