The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School


The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School


The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School


Maria Rivero Enters College-Bound Status With UChicago

Becoming one of the four seniors to receive Questbridge, the senior recalls her acceptance
Irela Montelongo
Maria Rivero stands proudly showing her new school the University of Chicago.

From achieving countless principal honor rolls in her academic career as a middle schooler, the transition to continuous excellence at Coral Gables Senior High is an endeavor to be congratulated. Making it her mission to accomplish her ultimate dream of receiving a full ride, senior Maria Rivero has made the ones around her proud by becoming the next Class of 2028 for the University of Chicago.

Coming across Questbridge through Gables’ College Assistant Advisor Mrs. Sanz, Rivero began researching the 50 universities partnered with the program. Ranking UChicago as one of her top dream schools due to its surrounding environments and seminars featured, she believes that students can delve deeper into topics, not just skimming the surface but digging deep and discovering the real root of the problems.

“I like that they have Socratic seminars. So it’s not just like a very basic discussion. They go into the foundation of everything that they discuss, which is something that attracted me about it since I tend to like going into the more philosophical side of things,” senior Rivero said.

Rivero, like all Questbridege applicants, went through an extensive application. Regarding this process, Rivero applied to universities such as Brown University, UChichago, Princeton, Colombia and Yale. When writing her first essay, she went in-depth into her experience of being a low-income student moving to New York and eventually returning to Miami, Fla. with a new outlook toward pursuing a degree.

Following up her second piece of writing, Rivero talked about her deep admiration for science by explaining how she researched a topic of selective amnesia based on a book called “Las Supervivientes” by Riley Sager. The rest of her application consisted of her hobbies such as philosophy, music and sewing.

“Because my parents didn’t get a chance at an education, they made sure to push me forward so I could accomplish my goals, but since we are a low-income background, that has also fueled my determination to get a good scholarship,” senior Rivero said.

Being a first-generation student in the U.S., her parents propelled Rivera to make sure she used the resources available to eventually lead the family forward.  Stepping up into her role, Rivero keeps herself busy with a part-time job at Publix on the weekends. In school, she was the music director for the National Spanish Honor Society for a month before leaving for New York City, N.Y. in the middle of junior year, but returned to her duties as a senior. Being a music director, Rivero has organized performances such as the annual Hispanic Heritage Show and ensuring  performers are in tune with their songs.

“I decided to apply as a music director since I enjoyed my experience in sharing my love for music with other members. In my interview with Mr. Sanchez [the NSHS Sponsor], we passionately talked about Hispanic music and sharing our culture through performance,” senior Rivero said.

As for college, Rivero is planning to major in Biological Sciences, because of her love of biology and curiosity to learn more. By indulging her sense of curiosity as questions are answered, Rivero finds the study she loves. While proving that tireless hours of effort are worth it with determination, Rivero has helped achieve her lifelong education dream due to the endless possibilities through Questbridge.

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About the Contributor
Irela Montelongo, CavsConnect Staff Writer
Irela Montelongo is a sophomore at Coral Gables Senior High. She joined CavsConnect in hopes of improving her writing and maybe one day following in the steps of her uncle who is a renowned Cuban author. Irela enjoys being able to express her feelings through her paintings and little clay sculptures in her spare time. She loves spending time outside but she loves it a little extra in the night time... primarily because she loves the way the air smells at night, a smell that reminds her of the bed time witch stories her dad would make up for when she was younger. Irela also enjoys reading in her spare time, mostly about human habits and psychology. Her favorite book right now is called "The four agreements". She loves listening to music and even playing little tunes on her guitar every now and then when she remembers she knows how to play. This year, she hopes to make the best out of even the worst situations and always put forth maximum effort so she will not be left with any "what ifs" at the end of this year.
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