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    The keys to success

    Senior Maria Gutierrez dedicates time in volunteering



    [dropcap]A[/dropcap]mid working at Boys’ and Girls’ club everyday after school and the weekly Tuesday Key Club meetings, senior Maria Gutierrez has spent more than 200 hours in community service. She is also taking the leadership positions in Key Club and leading the next generation into her compassionate outreach. Her charismatic personality radiates from her everyday speech and her love of people brings a smile to their faces.

    As the bell starting lunch rings, senior Maria Gutierrez heads to room 922 for the weekly Tuesday Key Club meetings. After school she drives across town to Boys and Girls Club and begins her work day. Gutierrez’s charismatic personality, leadership roles, and love of people is what others admire about her.
    Her positive attitude shines through in every dialogue, even if someone just asks her how her day is going.
    “I feel so good. Hold up, wait up, let me put some booty in it,” Gutierrez said. Expressing her quirkiness while singing and dancing when someone asks her how her day went.
    Not only is Gutierrez a charismatic person, she is also involved in the community.
    Gutierrez has participated in Key Club for 3 years, which is a student–led organization where members participate in community service while building character and leadership skills and has brought her opportunities to grow.
    Her junior year, she was Community Service Organizer, and then became Vice President this past year. Since Key Club helps the local Boys and Girls Club, members will volunteer and help the kids; Gutierrez has put in more than 100 hours into Boys and Girls Club in a year alone, and was offered a job there last summer.“,” said Gutierrez, whose duties as a Youth Development Leader include mentoring and protecting the kids, making sure they don’t get into trouble. “[It] really impacted me because I used to go there and I can look back at those Youth Development Leaders. Being back, I see that people have impacted my life and it makes me want to do that too.”

    Students admire Gutierrez’s hard work and her passion towards Key Club, who has put in more than 200 hours in community service, along with the 100 hours put in with Boys and Girls Club, and meetings alone. Friends and members envy Gutierrez’s dedication to everything she does.
    “Maria is a totally dependable and charismatic person. She is always a blast to be around and makes all the Key Club members feel welcomed and important! Key Club is all about giving back and serving the community, and Maria embodies the very meaning of service learning! She’s fabulous!” said senior Emily Vallejos, who is also in Key Club.
    Friend senior Naomi Solomon agrees.
    “I’ve never met anyone so dedicated to helping the community; she’s outgoing, optimistic, and really awesome because of her sense of humor and positive outlook in life. She encourages me to help the community, too–something I’ve shamefully never considered doing,” Solomon said.
    Her best friends love Gutierrez to death and put up with her sassy and dorky personality.
    “I’ve known Maria since seventh grade, and she’s truly one of the most honest and most hilarious people in the entire universe. Of course, this is totally an honest and unbiased opinion of my best friend,” said Solomon, who has known Gutierrez for five years.
    “She’s more involved in being a nerdy, sassy, comedic kind of person, and she can just be a total dork without any shame when around her friends; she is just a complete joy to have and is an amazing friend,” said senior Eric Ochoa.
    Gutierrez is known for her upbeat and positive attitude.
    When Gutierrez enters the premises of The Boys and Girls Club, swarms of children greet her, and she’s ready for the day. Amid leading art classes and playing kickball, she always has a smile on her face.
    “I love the childrens’ enthusiasm and energy! Every day that I go [to the boys and girls club], I always have something to do, whether it be play checkers or kickball. They always keep me upbeat and excited and that’s what I love about the place. The kids definitely [inspire me], how they react to me. Like when they see me, [they say], ‘Maria!’ and I’m like ‘Kids!’ They make me want to be a better person. They will look back and say ‘That person inspired me and made me who I am today.’’


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