Top Ten: #1 Jacqueline Smith

“One of the most important things in life is to know that everyone has a purpose on this planet.” Senior Jacqueline Smith is leaving Malden High School first in her class fueled to spread this belief in the world. Whether it’s her schoolwork, soccer, or rapping to Drake, Smith portrays the definition of what it looks like to give anything and everything true dedication.

Classmate Gillian Willcox describes Smith as “extremely hardworking”. Willcox explained how even though “she does stress out about a lot of things [for example] if she gets a 99 instead of a 100 she will ask for the rubric and what she can do to improve her grade, [Smith] does motivate [me] to be a better student”.

When asked to describe Smith in three words, senior Ashley Vieira, who is a close friend of Smith for many years, said “ she is caring, funny, and a very hard worker”. Vieira explained how “Smith is always the first person [she] goes to when [she] needs to 

Senior Jacqueline Smith. Photo taken by James Valente.
Senior Jacqueline Smith. Photo taken by James Valente.

talk”. After knowing her for years, Vieira explained how Smith has “worked very hard these past four years to be where she is and [she] is proud of all she has done and all she is going to do”.

After four years at MHS, Smith is leaving with much to remember. Besides being number one in her class, Smith has dedicated much of her time to athletics. Coming into high school, Smith juggled between soccer and gymnastics, highly talented in both. After tragically tearing her ACL freshman year of varsity soccer, Smith was able to make a comeback and recover fully and play the next three years at the varsity level. She was a key player as an offensive midfielder/ forward and was named captain her senior year. Smith was also voted Greater Boston League All Star her junior and senior year.  After recovering from her injury, Smith decided to focus on soccer as she “realized how much [the sport] meant to [her]”. Smith also played on various club teams including the Olympic Pre Development Team (ODP) throughout her four years and hopes to be able to play intramural in college.

In addition to soccer being her true passion, Smith’s toughest memory throughout the four years of high school was her knee injury freshman year. Smith admitted that “there was a lot of negative things that happened in [her life] during that time”. Like any injury, the toll it takes on an athlete is tough, Smith explained that “[she constantly] felt bad that [she] couldn’t play [and] couldn’t relieve [her] stress through playing soccer”. In addition it was “tough in school because [she] had to crutch everywhere and couldn’t do anything athletically which was a challenge because athletics were such a huge part in [her] life”.

Throughout her four years, Smith believes that she has “learned to become more relaxed about things”. She explained that as time went on “[she] learned to just let life happen and let things go” which has resulted in her being happier and much less stressed. Smith admits that it isn’t easy balancing everything but “to just let things happen in life”. When asked what she would tell her freshman year self if she had the opportunity, she admitted that she would “tell [herself] that everything is going to work out and to try and have fun and make as many memories and friendships throughout high school”.

Leaving MHS, Smith has had much influence from principal Mr. Dana Brown. He has “taught [her] how to balance school and fun”. Smith also admitted to “being inspired by his work ethic and his generous nature”. she believes that him devoting his entire life to his job is truly inspiring. In addition to Mr. Brown, Smith believes that the staff at MHS is one of the best qualities of the school.

Her favorite high school memory was Special Olympics, an event that MHS hosts with various other schools for the PACE students every spring. Smith described the experience to being great because she enjoyed being apart of the day that gives “the special needs students getting the treatment that they deserve”.

This upcoming fall Smith will attend the Honors College at the  University of Massachusetts in Amherst  where she will be pursuing economics and finance in the Isenberg School of Business. After being accepted to several other prestigious schools such as Boston College, Bentley University, and Northeastern University, Smith decided on UMass Amherst because of several factors. Other than it being the most financially reasonable decision, Smith explained that “coming from a really big high school, [she] also wanted a really big college community”. After visiting she admitted that she “could see [herself] there, in the environment that they have created”. In addition, the Isenberg School of Business really appealed to Smith’s interests and career plans.

In the future Smith “hope[s] to be a CEO of [her] own company or starting and running [her own] business”. She strives to be able to “minimize salary inequality between men and women”. Smith seeks to promote women in business especially in authority positions as she stated that “[many times] roles of women in big companies are very little compared to the ones that men [hold]”.

As Smith bids MHS farewell, she is happy and satisfied with what she has left here and the memories that she has taken away. MHS wishes Smith good luck with her future.

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