Maria Benavides, a senior at Castleford High School, is an extremely bright student. However, in addition, there’s raw dedication within Maria. It can be seen in virtually every aspect of her life and character. Maria will graduate as valedictorian this year having earned a 4.0 GPA, with an emphasis on “earned.” She put her education before everything else in her life, as she values it more than anything else. Maria is a first-generation college-bound student in her family and she has worked very hard to be in the position she finds herself today. She could choose virtually any college to attend next year and she has selected the College of Southern Idaho.