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Nataly Rodriguez - Delta High School

If Nataly Rodriguez could give one piece of advice to younger students, it'd be this: don't be afraid to try new things.

She's lived by those words, and they've served her well.

Nataly is graduating this week from Delta High School. When she first heard about the STEM-focused school as a middle schooler in Kennewick, she wasn't sure it'd be a good fit. But she took a leap of faith that paid off.

At Delta, Nataly has explored her interests and passions, and she's built friendships. This year, she's taken on an internship at Columbia Basin College’s foundation, and she plans to continue working there while she takes classes at CBC in the fall.

Nataly intends to earn her associate's degree at the college and then transfer to a four-year university, pursuing a STEM-related career, perhaps marine biology or medical research. 

She's also honing her athletic skills by taking taekwondo.

And, she's savoring this moment in life.

"I’m excited about a lot of things," Nataly said, noting that she's grateful to her parents for supporting and encouraging her. "I'm really looking forward to graduation and I’m excited to start my college journey and find my career path that I'm passionate about."