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Scholar Athlete: Madison Gates, Medina Valley High School

SAN ANTONIOWhat are you most excited about for your senior year and why?

The thing I'm most excited about for my senior year is that I am finally able to try out more organizations and clubs that I never had time for the past few years due to the immense stress of trying to build my GPA. I am excited to have the chance of going to playoffs in volleyball for the first time in about three years and break the school's winning streak. I am also excited about our spring one act play and just being a part of such a loving community. 

What drives you to be successful in the classroom and in your particular sport?

The thing that mostly drives me to be successful on the court and in the classroom is the desire to present myself in the best possible light. I want to be able to set myself up for the best future that I could possibly have, given the circumstances of the path that I'm choosing to take. If I am going to do something, I am going to do it 100 percent. 

What advice would you give other student athletes on how to succeed on the field, in the classroom and remain close to family?

My advice to succeed in the classroom, court and remain close to your family is to just be open. Obtain the extra help in the classroom and ask questions when there's a concept you can't grasp. On the court, just work as hard as you can every single day and be the most coachable player that you can be and the best teammate. To remain close with family, you have to talk to them. You have to talk to them about things that may stress you out or simply keep up conversations. Just find time for them in any moment that you can. 

What do you like best about the high school you attend?

What I like best about my high school is the amount of school spirit that everybody has. The support that the volleyball team gets on game nights, and the hype that is built up during pep rallies and spirit days is just phenomenal. 

Where do you want to attend college, major in and why?

I will be ready to attend University of Houston and major in American sign language interpreting after graduation. The main reason for choosing this major is because I want to help people around me while experiencing things that other people don't get the opportunity to do. Being given the chance to learn this language at my school from the amazing Mr. Levine has given me a sense of purpose, and this will give me the chance to meet new people that I wouldn't get to otherwise. 

If you could have one superhero power, what would it be and why?

If I could have any superhero power, it would be the ability to fly. Cliche, but this would give me the literal ability to soar to new heights and see things that other people could not. I would also be able to move a lot faster than anybody stuck in traffic. 

If you could take any athlete or celebrity to your senior prom, who would it be and why?

If I could take any celebrity to prom, I would most certainly choose Johnny Depp. Not only is he my favorite actor of all time, he has taught me that no matter what the circumstances are, you can work with them and adapt to anything given to you. He is certainly the inspiration that I carry with me onto the stage.