Marian High School, Mishawaka
Valedictorian Mackenzie Mencias
For Marian High School valedictorian Mackenzie Mencias, there’s a healthy balance between being challenged and being overwhelmed. She described both as being under pressure, but explained, “Whenever school seemed to be too difficult or the pressures of life seemed to be too drastic, I always tried to relax and remember to trust in God’s plan for my life. Learning to trust in my faith has helped me grow closer to God, and this will help me for the rest of my life.”
Because she faced many challenges throughout high school, it became her motto to trust God and relinquish her fears and frustrations into His care. And instead of focusing on the difficulties, she chose to look at the pressures in her life as motivations to push her toward excellence, both academically and spiritually.
As a high school student burgeoning into young adulthood, Mencias expressed her gratitude for those moments that, she believes, are leading her to study pre-medicine at the University of Notre Dame starting this fall. “Over the summer I worked at a surgery center as an orderly and was able to watch multiple procedures and then assist in cleaning up the operating rooms. This job opportunity really interested me because it allowed me to gain experience in the field that I want to go into.”
The importance of leisure and recreation is not lost on Mencias. She participated in a variety of sports — volleyball and golf, as well as swim team manager — and hangs out with her friends to see movies, attend football games or go shopping. She is a member of National Honor Society, Spanish and Greek Club and Quiz Bowl. She also has been consistent in her commitment to serve her home parish, St. Matthew Cathedral in South Bend, by volunteering as an altar server for eight consecutive years.
Mencias’ cherished memories of high school include “meeting up to work on projects and study for tests [with classmates], attending football games and tennis matches with my friends, and enjoying the field trips and spirit activities with my classmates that allowed us all to become closer.”
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