[slideshow_deploy id=’61940′]Balancing school, family and extracurricular activities throughout high school can be a tough task, but senior Elizabeth Barahona feels it is vital to reaching her goal of being a justice of the Supreme Court.

Barahona is a valedictorian of her class with a 5.0 weighted grade point average. She is currently taking seven Advanced Placement courses on campus and one online. She took five others before her senior year. In addition to academics, she is involved in extracuricular activities, like Mock Trial, Speech and Debate Team, National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, Model United Nations, Key Club, Mu Alpha Theta and law magnet.

She also won over $5,700 in the National Oratorical Contest held in Indianapolis, Indiana. She won the state of Florida competition and then advanced to the national quarterfinals.

She is committed to academic excellence and faces a lack of sleep because of it. She estimates she sleeps an average of three to four hours a night. However, this lack of sleep helped fulfill her goal of will Duke University in the fall.

“[I choose Duke because] it’s a good research university and is prestigious. [It will also] help me get into law school,” Barahona said.

While at Duke, she will be majoring in public policy and international affairs.

“I’ve always wanted to be a lawyer and it will help in my goal of becoming a justice of the Supreme Court,” Barahona said.

Barahona credits her family as her motivation to continue working hard academically. She has also found motivation coming from a disadvantaged household.

“My family’s support, knowing our financial difficulties and my little sister, Carolina [have been my biggest motivators throughout high school],” Barahona said. “Coming from a low-socioeconomic background should empower you to work harder and move your family forward.”

Barahona is proud of her Hispanic heritage. She believes that anyone coming from a disadvantaged family should be motivated to overcome their situation.

“Coming from a low-socioeconomic background should empower you to work harder and move your family forward,” Barahona said.

Barahona’s favorite thing about her time in high school has been her teachers.

“[The teachers are] passionate about teaching and care about their students,” Barahona said.

Barahona credits Carl Overton, Jennifer Hilley and Edna Irizarry as the teachers who have most impacted her.

“[They] all really invested [their] time and effort. I can talk to them about anything,” Barahona said.

Barahona’s favorite class throughout high school was art history.

“[I liked it because] you don’t just learn about history but grow as a person and learn about life from Mr. O’s point of view,” Barahona said.

Barahona plans to intern at a law firm before heading to Durham for college. She is currently an intern at Bank of America.

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