- Carolyn Perez, senior
- Holy Spirit Preparatory School
Carolyn Perez, a senior at Holy Spirit Preparatory School in Sandy Springs, has such a passion for languages that she started a Spanish section for her school newspaper called “El Mariachi.”
The spark for the newspaper section is rooted in her diverse cultural background. She has a German mother and Mexican father and is fluent in both their native languages. She said it’s important to learn languages to retain a link to her heritage.
“I have always loved languages and learning about cultures and really stressing the importance of that to people around me,” she said.
By passing college-level German exams, she graduated this past year from German Saturday School after 13 years of study, and she was asked this year to return as an assistant teacher. She is also the president of the Spanish Club. She explains, “I have gotten to move up from being a member to Secretary, to Vice President to President this year.”
“El Mariachi”, the student newspaper section she started, is designed to introduce a part of her school to a different culture.
“We feature different articles about Hispanic culture, or things that are going on, like celebrations, traditions, or recipes.” As the editor of the section, she compiles the work of other students and arranges it for printing as a part of the school publication.
Carolyn admits that she is very involved. She was chosen by the faculty of Holy Spirit to be the Head Girl, or “the liaison between the administration and the students.” She, along with the Head Boy, calls administrative attention to the issues important to the student body, and acts as a role model, leader, mentor and representative for the students. She is also in charge of morning prayer at her school; she writes and conducts the prayers every day. “Faith is something that is a really important aspect of my life,” she said.
In her free time, Carolyn enjoys art. She says it is relaxing and gives her “a break from all [her] responsibilities.”
On top of everything else, Carolyn participates in sports. She was a gymnast before coming to Holy Spirit, she swims, and even ran cross country this year.
She explains that she was initially nervous to join the team because she “had so many other things going on.” But, she laughs, “I realized that I’m actually good at running!”
Her cross country coach James Dale helped her to find the balance between sports, academics, clubs and service projects.
Her coach has only positive things to say about Carolyn. He notes that “she demonstrated great perseverance” and that “she was one of the top five runners.” “Carolyn was a great role model for the junior high runners as an example of fortitude, attendance, commitment and charity,” Dale said.
Carolyn says that being so involved has been a struggle, but she says she has learned a lot about time management and balance.
“What is really important to me is that everything I do,” she said, “I do really well.”
Carolyn has submitted applications to Notre Dame, St. Mary’s Catholic University, Providence College, Boston College, Boston University, Villanova, Vanderbilt, Duke, Emory, and Georgetown. She chose her schools based on strength of liberal arts programs, but looks to continue to work in service and language study.