An El Campo High School student in the AVID program aims to attend college and support her family by becoming a lawyer, a dream she has been working toward since middle school.

Sophomore Maria Becerra is set to graduate in 2023. Keeping up good grades in her classes, she uses every moment of her education to inch closer to her professional goals.

“I feel like being an educated person opens immense doors in the future,” Becerra said. “Academics are important for me because I want to accomplish big things in life and it comes with important skills needed every day.”

One challenge that Becerra has tackled is mastering the English language. She was born in the U.S. but grew up in Mexico, so her first language is Spanish.

“My biggest challenge has been to keep up with my high grades in all of my advanced classes while learning the English language,” she said.

Becerra works diligently in her classes, and also participates in extracurricular programs. She is historian for Skills USA, an ambassador for Spanish Club and a member of student council, Anchor Club and Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

“She is wanting to succeed in life,” ECHS AVID teacher Ashley Nixon said. “I can see that in her, even though she’s a sophomore … She’s wanting to have a better life for her and her family, and she always works hard, not just for her, but for everybody else (in her life).”

Becerra worked hard to maintain her grades, even before high school. In eighth grade, a teacher approached her about joining the AVID college readiness program and Becerra was accepted, remaining a member into high school. 

As a requirement of AVID, Becerra is enrolled in advanced courses, including algebra, chemistry and English. Chemistry is not a commonly beloved high school course, but it is Becerra’s favorite class.

“Even though it is very hard, I like challenges, and I also love to learn new things every day,” she said.

She is also taking business information management, Spanish II, cosmetology and floral design. She plans to take four AP courses next year.

Even among her peers in the AVID program, Becerra’s focus and drive stands out to Nixon.

“She’s one of my hardest working students,” Nixon said. “Even when (students) are given any flex time, she’s always working on school work, and she’s always involved in her school work, making sure she has good grades.”

After college, Becerra hopes to become a lawyer specializing in immigration issues. Through her work, she wants to help others.

Becerra is inspired by women throughout history who have changed their communities for the better, especially during Women’s History Month, celebrated annually in March. One of Becerra’s biggest role models is Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, who painted surrealist works tackling cultural and gender issues.

“She is an inspiration for me because even though I was born here in the US, I lived in Mexico for a long time,” she said. “That’s why I love Mexican culture. She also focused on equality for women.”

After a long day at school, Becerra enjoys coming home and seeing her family. She is very close to them, and they drive her to succeed.

“My plans after high school are to go to college and get a job to help my family … My family and (my) dreams motivate me every day,” she said.

“They keep me motivated all the time and they are my biggest blessing,” added.

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