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Meet Ariana, SLI scholar

Ariana (John Handley High School/Millbrook High School ’23) plans to attend Laurel Ridge Community College and become a teacher.

How did you decide to become a teacher?

In one of my teaching classes, Teachers for Tomorrow, we had to go spend 40 hours in a classroom. It definitely made me realize that that’s what I wanted to do.

How does it feel to be finished with high school?

I was so excited for graduation, but I was so sad because I was like, “Well, now I have to adult. Like, that’s a thing now. I gotta move on.” Then it clicked in my head and I was like, “Wait, I just graduated. Like, you’re done with high school.” That’s weird.

What would you like to tell about your family?

I grew up here. I was born here. My mom grew up in Hagerstown, Maryland. My dad immigrated from Mexico, and then same thing with my stepmom. So definitely like we get a little bit of every piece.

I have two older siblings. One lives on her own and she has her own little family, and then I have an older brother and he’s a full-time college student, and then I have my stepsister, my little sister, another brother, and then I have a younger brother who’s gonna go into kindergarten.

What have you learned about yourself as you’ve prepared for college?

It’s difficult being a first gen [college student], your parents not knowing the college process or anything like that, and seeking ways to find help or get the help that’s needed to go through college, or find those resources.

I think I definitely learned to go for it. Realize that you’ve done a lot already so you will continue doing great things. Seeing myself now and then seeing my younger self is just like, “You did it. You can keep doing it.”

I’m a big role model for my younger siblings, so I’m hoping that they can see my footsteps and maybe follow into them, or even do better things.

I always think life’s a plant: You’re that one seed at one point in life, and you’re like never gonna stop growing. You’re not gonna always be perfect, but perfectly imperfect.

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