By Stafford MSD Communications
Academic achievement has defined much of Maraki Samuel’s story over the past four years.
While the Stafford High senior is proud of everything she’s achieved in the classroom (she’s ranked fourth of more than 230 students), she has truly distinguished herself as someone interested in giving back to the community.
Samuel, who earned a scholarship to study biomedical engineering at Texas A&M University this fall, plans on becoming a cardiologist and practicing medicine in the United States. Samuel, who was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, also wants to open a medical clinic in Ethiopia, which will provide care for patients and also train aspiring medical professionals.
She moved from Ethiopia’s capital city to Stafford at age 7. Samuel spoke Amharic, but didn’t know English when she enrolled at Stafford Elementary School as a third grader in 2007. Samuel credits Stafford Municipal School District’s English as a Second Language (ESL) Program with helping her learn, and then excel, academically in the district.
“It was challenging – I had to practice and want to learn it,” Samuel said.
When she arrived at Stafford High in the fall of 2013, Samuel was committed to becoming involved throughout numerous campus organizations. She is a proud member of three National Honor Societies (the National Honor Society, the National Technical Honor Society and the Science National Honor Society). Samuel is a member of the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council, Student Council and Health Occupation Students of America.
She helped lead the SHS girls varsity soccer team to consecutive playoff appearances over the past two seasons, and earned a $1,500 scholarship – as a junior – from Youth In Philanthropy – an organization that was created through a partnership between the Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce and The George Foundation.
Samuel, who plans on visiting Ethiopia this summer (her first trip since she moved to the U.S.), has a lot of motivation for her career goals. Her father passed away when she was 3 years old, and she said better medical care may have saved his life. Part of her interest in cardiology stems from the fact that her grandfather recently passed away due to heart disease.
Samuel enrolled in several Advanced Placement courses at Stafford High School and also took courses in health sciences through the Stafford College and Career Center’s health sciences program.
She considers SHS science teacher Camille Merck, the 2016-17 Stafford High School Teacher of the Year, to be her most influential teacher. Last month, Samuel had an opportunity to honor Merck at the Excellence in Education Recognition Banquet.
“Science is my favorite subject,” Samuel said. “Mrs. Merck makes it fun. She helps me understand and enjoy learning.”