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Maria is a 12th grade student at The Archer School for Girls. She is on her school's FIRST Robotics Team and takes a robotics class. The robotics class is her favorite because, "it gives me a chance to show off what I can do. I like working with my teammates and I really like going to the competitions to see what the other teams built." Maria has had help and support from lots of teachers, friends, and family. She says her role model is her friend, Lauren. "She was on our robotics team 2 years ago. When she graduated from Archer she went to Princeton and is still working with robotics and is studying mechanical engineering there. I look up to her because she came from the same neighborhood that I did and went through similar troubles I have to be where she is and hopefully I can achieve the same. I'm headed her way." Aside from robotics, Maria plays softball, likes Rubik's cube, coloring, reading, and writing. She also volunteers at a facility to help immigrants with documentation. Her advice to students interested in robotics is to be "open minded and take everyone's ideas into consideration because you can make anything work. Be persistent and have patience. Things probably won't work out the way you expect them to on your first try. And finally...have fun!"

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