Madelaine Vera Curzio aims to be kind to everyone she comes across.
“You don’t know someone, you don’t know what they’re going through so just always be nice to them,” the soon to be graduating senior said just a few days before she walks across the stage and receives her diploma.
Madelaine, who also goes by Mali, is nearing the end of her time at Lassen High School, and a few weeks ago she learned she was the recipient of the We Are Lassen scholarship, an accolade awarded to a student on campus who embodies the character qualities that the We R Lassen program represents: Welcoming, excellence, respectful, loyal, authentic, strong, successful, engaged and noble.
“It means a lot that I got chosen just because of who I am,” said Mali, a Seventh-day Adventist Christian.
In late May, Lassen High School hosted its annual We Are Lassen Student Recognition Gala — an event that celebrated 37 students who embody the named qualities. Teacher Rachel Stewart invited Mali to join, but she soon learned she was about to get an even bigger surprise.
Shortly after LHS Assistant Principal Joshua Blackburn started talking, Mali heard her name get called.
In front of the crowd, she was announced as the third annual We Are Lassen scholarship recipient — A title that comes with a $1,500 scholarship and the chance to walk third during graduation following the Valedictorian and Salutatorian and give a speech.
What made the moment even more meaningful? Mali’s mom, Beatriz Vera Curzio was able to watch her daughter receive it — someone who is a huge source of inspiration for her.
“She’s always just put our whole family first and she’s just very strong and I admire her for that. She’s always one I can go to. I trust her very much. She’s my best friend and I love her,” Mali shared.
When she was announced as the scholarship recipient, Beatriz was so proud.
“She started crying and she said she’s proud I got this because of who I am,” Mali shared.
The graduate is the daughter of Beatriz and Crecencio Majorado, and she has a sister, Naomi.
During her years at LHS, she participated on the wrestling team her freshman and sophomore years, and then joined track and field throwing the shot put and discus her final three years.
While English is her favorite subject in school, Mali loved participating in ASB and helping put on the annual blood drive.
When not competing on a team, or exploring her creative side through writing, she can be found watching her favorite shows, “Gilmore Girls” and “Criminal Minds,” reading and getting out into nature; especially to the Kings Creek hike at Lassen Volcanic National Park and exploring the lava caves. One day, she would love to travel to Europe.
Next year, Mali plans to attend Lassen Community College and obtain her AA degree before continuing to California State University, Chico. She loves kids and wants to become an elementary teacher.
Decorating Mali’s graduation cap Friday night will be a quote that she tries to live by: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” And while she is nervous to speak in front of the graduation crowd, her speech was ready by Wednesday morning. In it, she plans to recognize the effective We Are Lassen program and thank those who have helped her along the way.
Mali joins prior recipients Neil Growdon and Bella Geoia, and through her obvious kindness, it’s clear how she was awarded the title of the 2021 We Are Lassen graduate.