Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Women's World Cup Soccer champs surprise BLA student

A group of celebrity visitors participated in an assembly at Boston Latin Academy this morning to surprise senior Maria Centeio with a special honor. Members of the 1999 Women's World Cup Championship soccer team joined Mayor Thomas M. Menino and Superintendent Carol Johnson in presenting Maria with the "Kevin W. Fitzgerald Giving Back Award," named in memory of the former state representative who died in September. Julie Foudy, Brandi Chastain, Kristine Lilly and other members of the World Cup team will be inducted tonight into the Hall of Fame at Northeatern Univerity's Center for Sport in Society. (Pictured here, left to right, are Mayor Menino, Ms. Lilly, Ms. Foudy, Maria Centeio and Ms. Chastain.)

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.
Related post: Brandi Chastain on why sports are critical for young girls.


Taliya said...

To my aunt or as some say my oldest daughter you rock!!!! Maria you trully are an inspiration, and this is just the begginig for you. You can and will have what ever you set out for! Congrads on the award and Good Luck at Yale!!!!

Anonymous said...


Nikki said...

hey maria,aka djudja, your my aunt but we grew up as sisters im so proud of your accomplishments..when my kids grow up i hope they follow the same path, your truly an inspiration! good luck at yale!:)

Alberto Pina said...

Way to go Maria!
I'm pretty sure that the Cape Verdean community is very proud of right now. I hope that your volunteerism, achievements, and hard-working attitude inspire more young men and women in the community and the city of Boston.

Keep it up!

Alberto Pina

Anonymous said...

Another Cape Verdean on the rise, as usual. Congratulation.
This is how we will start to clean our names. The few, that have ruin our community, shall soon be forgotten by the new leaders of tommorrow.

Loyde your #1 fan! said...

Hey "Djudju"
Why I am not suprised!!! I always knew that you are a WINNER. You are trully an inpiration to our community. I admire you alot and I wish you the best in your future endeavors. Good luck at Yale.

jm said...

Way to go djudju! Keep it up!
your old soccer coach,

jessica bonheur said...

maria you're my hero!
<3 jess