As a former Sweetwater Community School student, Maria Tafolla was able to overcome many obstacles on her journey of excellence with PVSchools, including a significant language barrier, early academic and behavior issues, as well as personal and family challenges. Despite these overwhelming obstacles, Maria persevered and was determined to get on a path of success. Through her hard work and determination she was able to form the school’s first yearbook club and take online and evening courses to graduate early in December 2015.

She is the youngest of her six siblings and the first in her family to graduate from high school, in spite of her friends and family telling her all along she was wasting her time and could never do it. “The support and encouragement I needed came from the adults who pushed me to do better and graduate,” said Tafolla.  Maria began classes at Paradise Valley Community College in 2016 to pursue a degree in criminal justice.