Born in the Cape Verde islands off the west coast of Africa, Maria moved to the United States when she was five years old. A member of the Class of 2008 at Boston Latin Academy, she hopes to attend Yale University next fall. Maria was recognized for her extraordinary community service. She sits on the board of two non-profit organizations in Roxbury: the Cape Verdean Community Unido and the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative. She is also president of the Uphams Corner Youth Council, a founding member of the Dudley Youth Council, and state historian for the Massachusetts Junior Classical League. Maria is a member of her school's yearbook committee and the National Honor Society. She also finds time to tutor younger students in math, Latin, and Spanish and administers competitive Latin contests.
A four-year varsity soccer player, Maria participated in Sport in Society’s Junior Coaches Academy in 2006 and attended the World Scholar Athlete Games, where she met student athletes from 156 different countries. “It seems as if I’ve lived a lifetime of exploration and excitement, but I know this is just the beginning,” said Centeio of her experiences.
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