Staying focused

MLA junior makes school a priority

T-R PHOTO BY SARA JORDAN-HEINTZ Marshalltown Learning Academy junior Stephanie Barajas, 17, is taking steps to help ensure she finishes school with her graduating class and goes to college. With the help of paraeducator Amy Paul, right, the student is learning the merit of quality over quantity when it comes to completing her coursework.

Thanks to hard work, determination, and the support of Marshalltown Learning Academy (MLA) staff, junior Stephanie Barajas, 17, is on the path to finish high school with her graduating class, and will even start taking college courses her senior year.

After spending a few months out of the classroom, Stephanie has developed an appreciation for learning.

“I come everyday, all day long, and get my classes done. I’ve been back for three months now,” she said.

Stephanie cited science and history as her favorite subjects.

“In science class, I like how you get to be creative and work with Gizmos activities,” she said. “And I like history because I like finding out about things like slavery and World War II.”

With the assistance of paraeducator Amy Paul, the student is learning the merit of quality over quantity when it comes to completing her coursework.

“She sets a great example, especially with the younger students,” Paul said. “She’s good at keeping people focused and is a great role model.”

In her free time, the junior likes to hang out with her nieces, nephew and sisters. She enjoys shopping and experimenting with makeup, watching online tutorials.

Looking to the future, she has set her sights on these goals:

“I want to graduate high school with my class, go to college, and move,” she said.

Stephanie plans to become a dental hygienist.

“I like having good teeth, and want people to have good teeth too,” she noted.

Name: Stephanie Barajas

Grade: Eleventh

School: Marshalltown Learning Academy

Parents: Kyla Forbes (mother) Liliana Barajas (sister)

Special Interests: Achieving her goals and fashion

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Contact Sara Jordan-Heintz at 641-753-6611 or sjordan@timesrepublican.com