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Mariah Madrid - Legacy High School

Mariah Madrid knows something about perseverance. She knows a lot about it, actually.

When she enrolled at Legacy High School after struggling during her junior year, she wasn't sure she'd be able to earn enough credits to graduate. 

But she worked hard and made it happen. 

She's excited to walk across the stage with her classmates this week and receive her diploma. And she already has her sights set on a new achievement: she wants to become an elementary school teacher, and she plans to take classes at Columbia Basin College as she works toward that goal.

For her, Legacy has been a safe and inspiring place where she felt encouraged and supported by the teachers and other staff. "They make you feel like you belong here," she said.

Her advice to other students is to keep trying – to persevere – especially during hard times. "I'd say, even if you're failing, try your best to keep on learning. Even though you fall, you can always get back up," she said. "It's never too late."

She's savoring this moment. "It's exciting," she said. "I'm happy that I came this far. I worked really hard for this."