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May 25, 2017

Celebrating Our Seniors: María Medrano-Gonzáles

Fifth-year senior María Medrano-Gonzáles didn’t speak a word of English when she began attending Southridge High School​ in the fall of 2015. She didn’t even know how to respond when the teacher in her first class on her first day asked her name.

By the end of school in Spring 2016, however, María had mastered English enough to pass all her required state assessments while meeting all other graduation requirements. She also qualified for the Seal of Biliteracy after passing the AP Spanish exam.

María stayed at Southridge for an additional year to further improve her English and take other courses including AP Calculus and Computer Applications, where she earned her certification as a Microsoft Office Specialist.

Now she'll attend the University of Illinois at Chicago​ on a scholarship, with the intention of studying engineering and computer science. She hopes other students who face challenges similar to hers can be inspired by her success and the support she received.

“You’re going to get help. Don’t stress out. You’ll do great,” María says of other English language learners. “Southridge is like a family and will be there for you.”