For most teenagers, transferring to a new high school during freshman year would be a socially detrimental situation forcing you to fade into the background. For 18-year-old Shea Terrazas, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Born in Little Rock in 1998, Shea spent the first four years of her life living with her mother, Cindy, her father Juan Carlos, sister Kali and her brother Blayne in South America and in Mexico before returning to Little Rock in 2002.
Shea’s father, a native of Bolivia, met her mother while she was working for the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) in South America. While Cindy spoke both Spanish and English, she needed an interpreter to help her understand adoption papers. It was there the couple met while Cindy was adopting her first child, Kali.
When it came time to transition to a new school, Shea had a wide variety to choose from. Her strong family foundation inspired her to choose Bauxite High School.
“Bauxite is a family atmosphere and is community driven,” says Shea. “The school goes above and beyond, plus I get to know my teachers and administrators more personally.”
Since her freshman year, Shea’s been a do-er at Bauxite High School. She began performing on stage in the school musicals such as Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Peter Pan and Mulan.
At the age of 14, it would be easy to think someone so young would succumb to stage fright, but Shea credits her church, First Church of the Nazarene, for giving her the confidence to sing. “We’ve been actively involved in the praise group for years,” says Shea. “My youth pastor has had a big influence and church is one of the biggest aspects of my life. It’s worth being a little scared to go out and do something you love.”
Bauxite High now offers two new female sports teams, soccer and volleyball, and Shea has been a part of both inaugural teams this school year.
Shea has also excelled academically, this year earning a 3.9 GPA and taking three Advanced Placement (AP) classes consisting of calculus, US government and literature. Shea has worked hard over the years to ensure she goes to college prepared. “I learned that not everything came as easy to me academically – so I learned that I needed to study when I got to high school,” explains Shea. “The hard classes have taught me to delegate my time to study.”
Shea is also a member of the National Honor Society, Future Business Leaders of America and helps run the yearbook.
With a graduating class of a little more than 125 students, Shea has worked the last four years to ensure she has not only a bright future for herself, but that she’s also made a positive impact on her school. She has served on the student council for many years and last may, her peers elected her as the student body class president for 2016-2017 school year.
As Senior Class President she is responsible for organizing homecoming week, running the daily morning announcements, hosting an event for new students at the beginning of the school year, as well as host a community service project. She is also brainstorming a few more opportunities for the remainder of the school year.
With so many projects, deadlines and events to check off her to-do list, she credits her friends and fellow classmates for making so many projects successful. “Since ninth grade about ten of us have taken charge,” explains Shea. “It’s all student led and I’m extremely grateful for this team. We aren’t competing, we are putting our heart into a project. We delegate and get it done.”
The cherry on top of planning the homecoming festivities this year, Shea was also voted Homecoming Queen.
Shea credits her family for providing the motivation to work hard. “I would never have pictured myself as outgoing as involved as I am now,” says Shea. “My parents get the credit of me going outside of my comfort zone. It’s rewarding to know that your hard work is for a reason and pushing yourself outside your comfort zone is rewarding.”
With her sights set on the next chapter, Shea is looking forward to seeking a degree in biology from the University of Central Arkansas. She plans to become a physician so that she can continue to help others.