Congratulations to Maria Alas, class of 2021, for being recognized with the Excellence in High School Leadership Award from the West Point Society of the Florida West Coast.

Maria is a student who is accomplished in her academics, athletics, community service, youth ministry, and leadership at Cristo Rey Tampa. Maria possesses exceptional leadership traits on campus and in her Corporate Work experience. “She’s a role model for her peers, both in and outside of the classroom. She has a very positive attitude and treats everyone with kindness. It’s such an honor to work with her, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds,” shared Ms. Mari Velaz Cristo Rey Tampa College and Career Counselor.

Maria is a student who shares her ideas and one who identifies needs and offers a creative solution.

“Over the last year, I noticed that some kids weren’t able to meet their full potential in class because they didn’t have the materials required to meet the task,” shared Maria before her first supply drive in August of 2018. With her can-do spirit and determination, Maria launched her Annual Back To School Supply Drive, collecting supplies and items that she knew her classmates and teachers needed during the year.

Maria’s hard work and effort paid off. Corporate Work Study Program Partners participated and delivered supplies along with items from friends, family, and businesses poured in to ensure her classmates and teachers have the tools for success. She works with Cristo Rey staff to distribute supplies, and her efforts were so successful that Cristo Rey began a school supply closet for students and teachers to use throughout the school year.

This accomplished young lady’s passion for giving and helping extends beyond the classroom. She is dedicated to community service and can often be found working on a project with Key Club or one of the many other clubs and activities she is involved in at Cristo Rey.

Maria has her sights set on applying to many top-tier universities. We are very excited for what her future holds and can’ wait to see her list of college acceptances. In the meantime, she is focusing on the best year for her and her classmates.

Maria is the daughter of Evelyn Diaz and Jose Rodriguez. She attended Nativity Catholic School and is an active member of Nativity Catholic Church.

Congratulations, Maria. We are so proud of you, and it is an honor to call you a Cristo Rey Tampa Panther.