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Two Bulldogs who made a difference
Here are two Foster High School graduates who worked hard in and out of the classroom and in their community.
Miguel Maestas: Passion for service
For Miguel Maestas, senior at Foster High School, being a leader is in his blood.
His uncle, Roberto Maestas, was a longtime social justice activist in the greater Seattle area who also founded El Centro de La Raza, a community center for the Latino and Spanish-speaking community.
Drawing from his late uncle’s passion and activism, it is no wonder that Maestas was awarded the Act Six scholarship, a full tuition, full need award based on service and leadership, to attend Gonzaga University in the fall.
The scholarship requires all recipients to meet once a week for the seven months prior to college to discuss societal issues and develop leadership skills.
“We address the issues to know what’s happening in the world…how racism affects us in ways we don’t see,” Maestas said.
This fall, Maestas will join three other students in attending Gonzaga with “a sense of purpose as service-minded leaders and agents of transformation” according to the Act Six website.
“They have a cool, progressive message,” Maestas said of Gonzaga’s Jesuit tradition and teachings--a very similar message Maestas was taught once arriving to the Pacific Northwest.
Moving from his hometown of Albuquerque to Seattle two days before beginning high school, Maestas encountered people from all backgrounds and races, something he’d never experienced before. From there, he decided bridging the gap between people of different cultures was an issue worth fighting.
“I want to be a social justice leader (and) make people aware of the issues,” he said.
Witnessing the changes his uncle made for people of all creeds and colors, Maestas was inspired to follow in his footsteps.
“I’ve always just been around that culture of standing up for what is right,” he said. “My family has taught me and trained me to stand up for what I believe in, (and) it’s about making a change in the community.”
Micah Breland: Not just athlete
For Micah Breland, captain of the Foster High School football and basketball teams and a member of the track team, there’s more to life than just sports.
Not only is Breland ASB president and a part of the National Honor Society, he also gives back to the community that raised him by volunteering with Young Life, a Christian youth group, and being an Ignite youth mentor as well.
“My passion is to help those who have been through a lot,” Breland said.
It is those accomplishments paired with his skill on the field that earned Breland a full-ride scholarship to attend Idaho State University this fall.
Although Breland received multiple offers from schools around the country, he appreciated the balance between school and sports he witnessed with the Idaho Bengals.
“I see the focus on academics not only in the admissions office but (with) the coach as well,” Breland said.
And with a good head on his shoulders, Breland believes that being a good person and well-rounded student precedes any successes earned on the field.
“If I can’t communicate with people, what’s the point of playing sports?” Breland said. “I realize you have to be a student first.”
But knowing school and sports could propel him far in life, Breland put his heart and soul into both, using what he learned on the field in the classroom and other areas in his life.
“With sports being a big part of my life, it helps me deal with people in general,” he said.
With the motivation and determination to succeed, Breland advises others to not limit themselves and pursue their dreams.
“You are your own greatest enemy,” he said. “Don’t close a door before you walk though it.”