Maria Gentry is an Academic All-Star from Blue Springs South High School
SCHOOL: Blue Springs South High School
HONORS: Top 1 percent; National Merit finalist; Missouri 100 Scholar; AP Scholar with Honor; 2011 Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership Conference representative; September 2012 Blue Sprigs School District Student of the Month and National Occupations Students of America National Qualifier.
ACTIVITIES: Technician at CVS Pharmacy; dance instructor at STUDIO d Dance Company; president of HOSA; member of Youth Core and Math Club; captain of the Varsity Scholar Bowl team; A-plus tutor and volunteer at Operation Breakthrough, Harvesters and Ronald McDonald House.
What advice do you have for next year’s freshmen?
Stay true to yourself. Do things because you want to do them, not because it’s the “popular” thing to do or because it would look good on a college application. High school can be intense, and you can get burned out easily if you’re doing things for the wrong reasons.
Who was your favorite teacher and why?
I had so many influential teachers (Monte Davis, Maridella Carter, Joanne Brailsford), but the two that had the greatest impact were Nathan Dorsch and Pattie Balano. Mr. Dorsch went above and beyond to help me both inside and outside the classroom. Mrs. Balano encouraged me from the first day of high school. Without these teachers and all the other teachers I haven’t mentioned, I know I wouldn’t be where I am today.
When you were not in school or studying, what did you most enjoy doing?
Dancing. Dance started out 15 years ago as a means for developing gross motor skills, but quickly turned into my passion. Dancing is my way of expressing myself and relieving stress, and I can always count on my studio family to be there for me after a rough day.
What college do you plan to attend and why?
Next fall, I will be attending the University of Missouri-Kansas City, majoring in biology with an emphasis on cell and molecular basis of health and disease.
What do you see yourself doing 10 years from now?
In 10 years, I plan to have completed undergraduate and medical school and be working on a neonatology residency program. I will also hopefully be in a place where I can give back to the community that has given so much to me throughout my school career.