Maria Perez, one of our 2013 Scholars, was selected as The Steve Francis Foundation’s Most Likely to Pull All-Nighters. A KIPP Houston High School graduate, Maria just finished her first year studying Biology at Duke University and has aspirations to become a doctor specializing in pediatric arthritis. She is preparing to become a doctor now with her all-night study binges!
She is quickly becoming a part of the Blue Devils family. Maria is an active member of the Duke Catholic Center, helping with mass services and community service outings. The Duke Catholic Center is the official Catholic community on campus that fosters the formation of future Catholic leaders and promotes the integration of spiritual, intellectual, and social lives. She also joined the Duke sorority Chi Omega and is a part of the social committee and helps plan and execute social events. Chi Omega is the largest fraternal organization in the world and the Duke Chapter ranks among the top national Chi Omega GPAs.
With a full load of classes she still finds time to serve the community at Duke Paws, an animal shelter in Durham, and with Adopt a Grandparent. We know now why Maria earned the title Most Likely to Pull All-Nighters, as she also holds a work study job in the IT Department at the Duke School of Medicine. She has to make sure all the electronic devices are working like they should on a daily basis, which is important since the school of medicine relies heavily on technology to record classes and help with the laboratory. Sharon Kaiser, the Educational Technology Specialist at Duke University School of Medicine shared kind words about Maria;
“We are fortunate to have hired Maria Perez as a work study student. Maria has always put forth extra effort, dedication, with thorough insight into her undertakings and projects. These have been valuable to the daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly tasks that we need to make our Medical Education IT department a valued resource to our MD students!”
Maria returned home this summer with an incredible opportunity to intern for one of the best rheumatologists in Houston. She was able to learn more about rheumatology, which is what she would like to specialize in, and how the management of a doctor’s office works. Maria also managed to take some time to relax, plan for her sister’s Quinceañera, visit Pensacola beach and New Orleans with her family, and chaperone on her sister’s math competition to Florida.
At KIPP Houston High School, Maria was known for her hard work and tenacity. In 2012, Maria was awarded Honorable AP Scholar by KIPP for her high achievement on the AP exams. Dedicated to her studies, she also had a passion for her community. She was the Community Service Chair for the Class of 2013 Escarela Program, joined the Walk for Alzheimer’s, and helped at the Houston Food Bank. During the summer of 2013, she traveled to Costa Rica with her KIPP classmates to work alongside local conservationists to save sea turtles.
Maria is one of the most determined Scholars we know, pushing herself as hard as she can to get the job done. We have no doubt her dreams will come true and she will become one of the best rheumatologists. But, we also hope she finds time to sleep along the way!