To tackle the challenge of new surroundings, Macias looked to her past and her family history for encouragement that she not only belonged at Sparks High, but that she was destined to make her own legacy.
“It is not only that we are here to get an education and go further, but we are proud of where we come from,” Macias said. “Being in these other groups, kind of promotes that and the pride in our school and being proud of who we are and where we come from.”
Macias, 15, joined the cheerleading squad as a freshman to break out of her shell and has since joined the Leadership class, managing programs and events throughout school. She said her older sister, a former Sparks High cheerleader, influenced her to join the club but her reluctance to stop there came from the desire to work with others.
“Working together is definitely a big benefit,” Macias said of Leadership and cheerleading. “In other classes, you get to work together and do group projects, but in Leadership you have to work together to get things done the right way and on time.
“With cheerleading, it does help you become comfortable with others and it keeps you from being shy. It feels like we all go in as strangers and you leave knowing everything about each other.”
Macias recently received a Student of the Month designation for her academic excellence in her full load of Honors courses. She said the award was somewhat of a surprise, but it proved to her “everything you do pays off.”
Moving forward, Macias hopes to graduate with her Honors diploma and attend college to prepare for the medical field. She has yet to choose a discipline, but she is leaning toward nursing given her mother’s current profession as a local nurse.
“Being in the hospital, and hearing about it at home, the stories are kind of interesting,” she said. “My family has had a long medical history and I have seen so much in the hospital that it has made me want to enter the field.
“I can see from where my mom sits all the different things that are going on. During emergencies, when people come through the door, they all rush to keep that person alive and I want to be a part of that.”
Macias has her eye on Columbia University for her secondary education, but thinks the University of Nevada, Reno would be a great school as well.
In the time she does not spend at school, Macias said she is with her family, adding “there is always something going on. Someone is always doing something.” That feeling translates to her time at school as she continues to branch out to meet new people.
“It is not like some other schools where if you are not in a certain club you get separated,” she said. “If you are nice to people, and have a positive attitude, you can fit in with anybody.”