EUGENE — Marist High School senior Maya Dotson received the Future First Citizen Award from the Eugene Chamber of Commerce last month. Given annually, “this award serves to showcase our area’s top high school seniors who excel academically, are leaders among their peers and have made great contributions to our community,” said a Eugene Chamber of Commerce representative.
A panel of composed of chamber of commerce members interviewed and judged the nominees based on contributions to their school and community, leadership ability, GPA and SAT/ACT scores.
Dotson’s contributions to Marist and the community are numerous. She is in her 10th year as a Girl Scout, serving as a mentor and role model for numerous girls as a Girl Scout ambassador. She is part of the Marist speech and debate team and is serving as co-captain this year. Dotson is a member of the National Honors Society and helped organize Eugene’s 15th Night Initiative, which helps get local homeless youth off the street and into more permanent housing. She also was an advocate in supporting a bill that would bring electricity to impoverished regions of Africa. Dotson also has assisted the Carmelite nuns in Eugene with their website.
In partnership with Marist English teacher Bill Ferrari, she helped develop a program to bring college-like education to local homeless, including designing a social media component to promote awareness about the initiative.
“Many of the homeless participants identified Maya and her genuine welcoming and inclusive nature as a primary reason for their continued attendance,” said Ferrari.
“Maya is a rare high school student who cherishes the ideals of education as a portal into making a tangible difference in bettering her communities,” he said. “I would say that Maya is going to change the world, but the truth is, she is already doing just that.”