Martiza Barretto

Home-schooling can put some students well ahead of their public-school peers, and that’s an environment students like Martiza Barretto excel in.

Maritza is in the seventh grade. Her favorite subject is math and she would like to become a marine biologist one day.

As a home-schooled student, she is tested annually to determine her academic progress. She currently exceeds her grade level in most subjects, and she tested post-high school in math and at the 10th-grade level or above in all other subjects.

Martiza is also an athlete. She plays basketball and soccer at Memorial Christian Academy.

“I like to ride my ripstick (skateboard), hang out with my friends and watch movies,” Martiza said.

Between her school work and leisure time, Martiza finds to volunteer in the Cove community. The 12-year-old is an active in her church, where she helps as a teacher’s assistant for first- to fourth-graders.

She also helps the prekindergarten and kindergarten students with craft projects in vacation Bible school at First Baptist Church every summer. She volunteered more than 100 hours in her church.

She also volunteered more than 300 hours on Christian mission trips helping families whose homes were destroyed in natural disasters.

With her home-school cooperative, one day a week for eight weeks in the fall and eight weeks in the spring, Martiza volunteers every Friday running errands, setting up and cleaning tables, making coffee and more.

Maritza volunteers in the Coleman Shaved Ice trailer in Cove City Park during the summer and at sporting events. She works most Saturdays and during the week if her school work is done.

Owner Barbara Coleman said Martiza has an extremely strong work ethic for not only a young person, but for a person of any age.

“She is a very hard worker. I tell her once what to do and don’t have to repeat it. She takes initiative and is courteous to customers,” Coleman said. “She ensures our product is presentable and very tasty.”

Martiza has volunteered since she was 7 years old and accrued more than 500 hours of community service.

Contact Wendy Sledd at or (254) 501-7476

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