Senior Maria Morales Salgado described her senior year at Phillip O. Berry Academy of Technology with these three words: challenges, growth and support. "From pep rallies to working together through Zoom links, students, faculty, staff and stakeholders formulated the highlights of my high school years. I will remember all of the experiences I had at Berry, valuing the school community every step of the way," she said.
Maria is the first in her family to continue to higher education and is the school's valedictorian. Through hard work, dedication and perseverance, she earned a full scholarship to attend Princeton University in the fall where she will study biological and chemical engineering. "In 10 years, I hope to obtain a Ph.D. in engineering and join the growing community of biomedical engineers working to advance medical technology for current and future generations," she said.
The biggest influences in her life are her parents. They immigrated to the U.S. to give her more opportunities and made sure she took each one. "None of my accomplishments to this day would have been possible without them," she said. "My parents, through their construction/housekeeping jobs, and by overcoming diverse challenges, have shown me the everyday blessings of life. They sacrificed nearly everything for a life with more opportunities."
The other people in her life she is thankful for are her teachers, club leaders and peers who have shown her the unlimited possibilities of the future. "I feel fortunate to have these people in my life, and I know I will have their continued support even after graduation. This keeps me inspired as I move on to this next chapter of my life."
"I will remember all of the experiences I had at Berry, valuing the school community every step of the way."
Read about more graduates here.