With a dog whose name is “Snickers,” Maya Medrano aspires to be a culinary connoisseur who wants to educate people on eating healthy.
The 17-year-old Coronado High School senior is the recipient of a $5,000 scholarship to Scottsdale Community College. She was recently granted the two-year award from the Scottsdale Charros.
While enjoying a well-earned spring break in Mexico, the Scottsdale resident took time to answer questions. Here’s her account about her reaction to winning the desired award and a little information about herself to help understand why she was chosen.
How do you feel about winning the award?
I was so overwhelmed to hear that I had won the scholarship. I feel humbled, excited and grateful for the opportunity it will give me.
Why did you want to apply for the award?
I really want to go to college. My parents are working hard to help me, but I know it would be a hardship. I wanted to do all I could to make this happen.
What will you be majoring and minoring in?
I will be earning my associate degree in culinary arts. I then plan to pursue an undergraduate degree in dietetics.
What is your favorite subject in school?
My favorite subject is English.
What did your submitted essay consist of/what were the elements that made it a winner?
I know that there were many other great essays and I really don’t know exactly what made mine stand out. What I tried to do was, in a few words, share how my life has been shaped by the foods we survive and celebrate with.
I tried to share how poverty affects small decisions that have a huge impact to our lives. I see food as medicine; and it breaks my heart when people can’t or won’t eat what will make their lives better.
It is my mission to help others from all walks of life incorporate healthy eating and fitness into their lives. If I had to guess, I think what made my essay successful or at the very least interesting, was that I shared lots of personal experiences. I tried to help the reader sense my passion by seeing the world through my eyes.
What are your best memories of high school and what will you miss the most?
I have a few “best” memories such as the first, and the last time, I took the field leading our school marching band as the senior drum major. Another great memory is making the state playoffs as a captain of my school’s varsity soccer team. The experiences I shared with my band and fellow team mates will be in my heart forever.
What motivates/inspires you?
What most inspires me is my faith. It is the center of who I am. I believe life is a gift and I am grateful that I have such wonderful family members, teachers and friends to share it with. I want the most out of my life and I want to help others achieve the same.
What is the most important thing that you want to impart to others, especially youths your age and younger generations?
I would want them to know that they have incredible value and that they can accomplish anything they work hard to achieve.
What is the most unique aspect about yourself?
I believe that one of the most unique aspects about myself would be my tenacity.