“I started building robots in the 3rd grade,” said Marylander Maria Raquel Thomas, when asked about all the projects she’s into, which robotics is one. “I was introduced to robotics when my parents brought me a robotics kit. I joined a robotics club. This year I built a huge rollercoaster in the backyard.”
Aside from robotics, this 15 year-old prodigy has also gone through a self-confidence journey that ended with her as a finalist in the 2021 Miss Maryland Teen USA pageant.
‘I was always around pageants,” Maria said about her venture into the legendary teen pageant. “It projects self confidence, I love that.”
When I told Thomas that my youngest daughter was a finalist in the Miss Maryland Teen USA pageant as well, she said, “Every girl in Maryland should have this experience, it helps with self confidence.”
Maria Raquel’s mother worked with pageants most of her life.
“I saw the glamour and how it changed women’s lives,’ she added.
Not only is Maria a robotics engineer and pageant finalist, but she is also a entrepreneur with her Maria Raquel Thomas Cosmetics business; an active Youtuber; class president; a recipient of the President’s Award for Educational Excellence; a member of the National Junior Honor Society; a philanthropist who donates to children’s charities, such as Victoria’s Voice, SE4K, and Standup for Kids; the first National Youth Ambassador for Standup for Kids, a non-profit organization focused on ending youth homelessness; was named the Junior National Young Leader; a National Girl of Merit Award recipient, and a President’s Volunteer Silver Award recipient.
As we ended our talk, this inspiring young lady ended it by telling me how she accomplished so much in 15 years by, “Just consistently believing in God and preparing…continually praying for everything that is coming. I do think I’ve come this far because of it.”
SYNDICATED COLUMN: Eunice Moseley, MS, MBA, MPhil has an estimated weekly readership of over ¼ million with The Pulse of Entertainment.