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Marilyn Macario, Max S. Hayes High School

Notable: Started elementary school on an IEP. Graduated from Max Hayes as valedictorian.

High school resume: 

  • Class valedictorian
  • Took college courses while in high school
  • All-star in tennis

Plans for the future: Will attend Ohio State University. Hopes to practice medicine as a cardiologist.

Challenges faced: Juggling college and high school courses in her senior year. Says the struggle made her feel unworthy to be called a valedictorian.

Who deserves the most credit for her success? Her parents and siblings for supporting her even when the going got tough. And school counselor Cynthia Dalveren, who was her “No. 1 supporter” and “cared for me like a mother.”

Quote: “My parents always said the only way to get out of a world full of stereotypes is to go to college. My brother and sister couldn’t go to college. I decided to represent my whole family.”