Maya B. is the salutatorian of her class at a local top-tier high school, McKinley Tech HS. She embodies the work ethic, ambition, and academic rigor of an alumna of Higher Achievement. She is pursuing a medical degree. Find out how Higher Achievement helped her along her journey by reading more!
How did you first become involved in Higher Achievement?
I was nominated in fourth grade by my teachers. I switched schools in fifth grade to be closer to the Higher Achievement site. I was chosen in the raffle for my grade.
Why did you want to become involved in Higher Achievement?
My parents encouraged me to join, and once I became involved I loved it. It sounded like a chance to be around supportive like-minded students, and to do things that other students who weren’t in Higher Achievement didn’t get to, like community gathering time, where we expressed how we felt about the day, or mentors, who helped us learn difficult lessons. We made learning fun using chants, field trips, and games.
How did Higher Achievement make a difference in your life?
Higher Achievement helped me so much. It was the first organization to give me a planner. I’m much more disciplined and organized now. I’ve learned to be focused and to avoid distractions.
What is your favorite memory of Higher Achievement?
My favorite memories were the college tours. When I was in Higher Achievement all the grades went to the college trip. We visited Frostburg University. There was so much to do, and it kept us occupied. The campus was a large and new environment.
Tell us about your favorite mentor, staff member, and/or teacher.
My favorite staff member was Mr. Sam. He was like a father figure to us. He always pushed me to do better. He was always there for me.
How do you feel Higher Achievement helped create the person you are today?
Higher Achievement felt like family at Ward 6. We collaborated and supported each other all the time. We always felt like we were more than friends.
What is your biggest life accomplishment to date? How did Higher Achievement help you achieve that goal?
My class ranking is my biggest accomplishment right now. I’ve worked so hard on my academics. Higher Achievement contributed to that because I was in such an organized environment. That was the key to my success.
In what ways do you contribute to your community?
I’m a part of the WISE (Women Inspiring Strength and Empowerment) Club, which is volunteering organization. I’m also a part of KAIZEN, which does workshops on youth empowerment, community engagement, and helps feed the homeless We enhance our character and job readiness in this program.
What are you up to these days?
I’ve just graduated from McKinley Tech. I’m also the salutatorian. I’ve been accepted into North Carolina Central. I’ll be pursuing a medical degree in the fall.
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