SALISBURY, Md. — That wind that just blew past was probably just Ricky.
Patrick “Ricky” Gutierrez is a 14-year-old eighth-grader at St. Francis de Sales School. Gutierrez has twice been named All-State Chorus and is one of only two lower Eastern Shore students named to All-State Choir. He plays multiple instruments, plays several sports, does volunteer work, is active in church and is in the National Junior Honor Society.
“It is a lot of things,” he said. “But I tend to pick things up pretty quickly.”
He jokes that he “sleeps a lot at night.”
Gutierrez is the youngest of seven siblings and the entire family is very musical. “We all sing in the car,” he said.
Music allows him to “hyper-focus,” he said. If he is having trouble with his school work, he slides on the headphones and “it helps me to focus. Everything is a lot easier with music. I can go right through it,” he said. “Even if I hear a cool guitar riff on the TV, I want to learn it. I pick it up pretty easily,” he said.
He sings bass and also plays the guitar, ukulele, piano and drums, much of it learned from his three sisters and three brothers. “The drums are probably my favorite, although they may not be my parents’ favorite,” he laughed.
His siblings sing, play a number of instruments and even recorded a CD. As for his musical influences, Gutierrez is partial to Paul McCartney, the Beatles and Wings.
He expects to attend James M. Bennett High School, where he hopes to continue his passion for music. He hopes to be in the drum line in high school.
He is in the National Junior Honor Society and his favorite subject is science.
He plays basketball, football, golf and lacrosse, although lacrosse is probably his favorite sport.
After high school, the ambitious young man hopes to attend the Naval Academy in Annapolis where he hopes to play lacrosse and follow in the footsteps of his father, who served in the Navy, and his older brother, who served in the Marines. He would like to become a doctor with a preference for pediatrics. “I especially like to work with kids,” he said.
Gutierrez’s family goes to church regularly and he considers his faith to be a very important part of his life. He says he has been blessed with many talents and says “nothing is possible without him (God).”
He is the son of Anthony and Amy Gutierrez.
This Christmas, he helped bake cookies and make cards for Joseph House, a large Salisbury-area mission providing food and help for the less fortunate in the area. “It felt really good,” he said. He said being able to give back helps people to realize how blessed they really are.
Gutierrez added that he is thankful for St. Francis de Sales because he believes it has provided him with many opportunities.
When asked for advice for other young people, he said they should “manage their time well” and not give up because they are not very good at something. “Keep trying,” he said.