Photo by Diana Gomez-Ochoa

Maya Saams-Hoy

Maya Saams-Hoy, known for her “infectious smile” and positive personality, has conquered the challenges of high school.

Every year came with its difficulties, Maya said, but she has always had her parents and her brother (Eastside class of 2019), to encourage her and keep her on track. 

From the start, Maya set her mind on ensuring that all of her work would depict her best effort. Her repeated honors – for example, a Spanish Excellence Award and Book Award in her junior year – showed the commitment she brought to academics. Beyond that, Maya pushed herself to build community in various ways, from living in the dorms to playing Panther soccer for four years, rising to co-captain this year, to joining the Prom Committee and the Gender & Sexuality Club (GSC). She earned a Service to School Excellence award this year.

“She’ll push you, just because she wants to see you succeed,” said senior Kianne Ferrer, Maya’s dorm roommate. “She’s all about the community.”

Since her sophomore year, Maya has especially enjoyed English and writing classes. Even during remote learning, Maya continued to excel in class.

“While it may have been more stressful in the beginning of the year, by spring, I could throw any kind of prompt her way and she knew exactly how to approach it,” said AP English Language teacher Sarah Kreiner. “She just brought such a positive and curious mindset.”

Leaving Eastside provokes many emotions for Maya, including relief and happiness, knowing that she accomplished a key part of life.

“This place is really good in terms of community and education,” Maya said. “But it kind of gets to a point where you’re like, ‘OK, I want to see what I can do on my own.’”

Maya’s next step takes her to California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks in the fall.

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