Maryvale Prep Senior Receives National Recognition

Maryvale Prep March 29, 2024

Portrait of National Hispanic Scholar from Maryvale PrepJulian Vera, a senior at Maryvale Preparatory Academy was excited to learn that he was recognized as a National Hispanic Scholar. The National Hispanic Recognition Program (NRHP) recognizes outstanding Latino and Hispanic high school students who earned high scores on the PSAT, the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test during their junior or sophomore years.

While the NHRP is not a scholarship program, it does provide students with a certificate of recognition that can be shared with colleges or scholarship granting organizations. It is the oldest of College Board’s recognition programs which has more recently added separate recognition programs for Black, Indigenous, and rural students. The NHRP is distinct from the National Merit Scholarship Program, which is administered by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

“It really opened my eyes to how important stuff like this is,” said Vera while reflecting upon taking the PSAT in 11th grade. During his years at Great Hearts, he has also graciously received school Virtue Awards for Integrity, Wisdom, and Responsibility. The College Board recognition is another accolade he can add to his collection of achievements.

His college counselor at Maryvale Prep, Georgy Ayala, said this will open the door to substantial scholarships offered at colleges across the country. “Along with exemplifying outstanding academic achievement and moral formation, he has been involved in a variety of different high school activities including the art club, powerlifting, baseball, and football,” said Ayala. He showed off his acting chops well when he recently portrayed Gerald Arbuthnot in his senior play, “A Woman of No Importance.”

National Hispanic Scholar in Maryvale Prep Senior Play

Looking back at his high school career, Vera said 10th grade Humane Letters was his favorite class. “I enjoyed the philosophy books that year… and the teaching style of my teacher, Mrs. Gittens,” he said. Physics was another favorite class, “Especially when we built a trebuchet,” he recalled.

Vera remembers Great Hearts teachers from as early as 6th grade who had a profound impact on his classroom confidence, instilling the pride he takes in his work today. His mother, Patricia Vera, has always been his biggest motivator and cheerleader. Her unwavering encouragement to him to study and do his best in school has become a part of who he is as a person.

After graduation, he will attend Arizona State University to pursue a bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture, with future plans of earning a master’s degree in architecture. Ambitiously, he looks forward to a rewarding career designing and creating beautiful, functional, outdoor commercial spaces.

“Since the 3rd grade, Julian’s warm, genuine smile has been a staple within our school’s community which includes teachers and long-time friends,” said Ayala. “We wish Julian the best of luck in his future endeavors as he continues to discover Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.”

Do you have a story or know of a story that you would like to see featured at Great Hearts?  Please contact

Back to Press Room