Ernestina L. Maldonado
Published: Thursday, July 21, 2011
Updated: Friday, July 22, 2011 07:07
Since third grade, when Ernestina L. Maldonado began a home-schooling program, she has strived to avoid the stereotype that home-schoolers are quiet, socially awkward geniuses.
"Most everybody always assumes things about home-schoolers that aren't true," she said.
Now 17, Maldonado still aims to dispel those stereotypes. About to begin her senior year, Maldonado's education is largely in her own hands, as she teaches herself the material from textbooks. She's attempted public school several times, but each time, she was drawn back to the self-paced style of school at home.
For some traditional school benefits, though, Maldonado takes classes and participates in activities at a co-op, a home schooling organization made up of several home-school families. A San Antonio native, Maldonado has three younger brothers with similar schooling experiences.
In her free time, Maldonado pursues reading, writing and singing, as well as dabbling in a variety of athletics, such as basketball, softball and soccer. Maldonado is committed to the home-schooling co-op's track team; hard training and persistence has helped her rise to varsity status this year. Through journalism and yearbook courses at the co-op, Maldonado has nurtured her love of writing, joining the San Antonio Express-News Teen Team her junior year to further explore journalism.
As she looks at colleges, such as the University of the Incarnate Word and Our Lady of the Lake University, Maldonado is considering majoring in art, musical theater, journalism or dietetics.
"I'm not too sure what I want to do with my future yet," Maldonado said. "I like to do pretty much anything."