Eldorado High School
Eldorado High School
Believing that hard work always pays off drives this scholar-athlete to give her all, on and off the field.
Never forget where you come from. It’s something Maria Barela has been taught from a young age. And it’s a value she’s held near and dear to her heart, despite attending three different high schools in four years. While Maria and her parents and siblings moved away from their hometown her sophomore year, leaving the rest of their extended family behind, she still comes back every weekend to serve her community by volunteering her time as a tutor for younger students, helping with food drives and church clean up, creating community gardens, and collecting homeless shelter donations. While it was a major challenge to start over at a new school, Maria has found ways to honor her heritage there as well by participating in Spanish National Honor Society and contributing her innovative ideas about community outreach and Hispanic cultural education.
Even as she celebrates her roots, Maria has her eye on her future. “I have always been a young lady that does not look ahead a year or so in her life, but rather the rest of her life; her end result,” she says. Her hard work in school and in athletics is driven by her desire to one day provide a good life for her future family, as her parents have done for her. She has plans to play collegiate basketball, attend medical school, and ultimately become an orthopedic surgeon. To get there, she’s putting in the effort now to achieve her best in all she does. And it’s paying off. At her new school, she’s maintaining an impressive 4.0 GPA while taking multiple honors courses. And she played a key role in helping her new basketball team win the state championship during her first season, winning 1st Team All-State, All- Metro, and All-District awards in the process. “I was willing to do anything it took to achieve my goal of winning a state championship. I put in extra work in the basketball gym and was more focused than ever,” she says.
Being so successful, however, has not always been easy. Maria has learned the hard way that not everyone is going to be supportive of your accomplishments. “I lost many friends and teammates due to me taking their positions and playing time,” she says. Rather than let that defeat her, she has chosen to rise above it and be a true supporter of others. “Just because someone is successful does not mean you have to tear them down to be superior to them,” she says. “Instead, put in the work to achieve your own goals. Doing so will make everyone better instead of bringing one another down.”
“Everything I do, I do with my long-term goal in mind.”
~ Maria Barela ~