Buford High School senior Karyme Santibanez understands the value of education and is the third Buford lifetimer in her family.
Karyme is the 18-year-old daughter of Maria and Antonio Santibanez and younger sister to Eric, 29, and Adiel, 26. Eric is a graduate of the University of North Georgia and Adiel is a graduate of the University of Georgia, and the family has made its home in Flowery Branch.
“My mother never had a real, solid education due to where she grew up and financial struggles, so I really learned the importance of the value of education,” Karyme said.
At Buford High School, Karyme has focused primarily on academics. While maintaining a 3.8 GPA, she has taken nine AP classes. In recognition of her high academic achievement, she has received two nominations for the Georgia Governor’s Honors Program, one in social studies and another in language arts, and she was selected for the Literary team as the personal essay writer and will compete for her team next month at the region meet.
Karyme is also a two-year member of the National Honor Society and Beta Club and has served as the manager of the wrestling team for the past three years while participating heavily in the fine arts department. She has taken musical theater, drama and chorus, taking at least one performing arts class every year of high school. She was elected as a thespian officer this year and received a Director’s Award last season for her dedication to the program.
“I would like to say I stand out most in theater, not necessarily as a leading role, but as an encouraging hand and someone who people in our Troupe can turn to,” Karyme said. “Theater has been super influential for me as it has helped my confidence grow and taught me how to take on leadership roles.”
Karyme says her favorite teacher is Mrs. MacAdam.
“She is just super funny and just a great teacher. Though I don’t like math, I definitely did enjoy her class because she made it bearable for me,” Karyme said. “I know I can always walk into her room and just have a nice talk and get some great life advice.”
In her free time, Karyme likes to hang out with friends, take naps, hang out with her siblings, watch teen dramas from Spain and travel. She feels unique in that she has been to Mexico almost every year since she was 5 months old, has goats and has ridden a camel.
“In the past year or so, I’ve gotten into Formula One, thanks to a friend, and can confidently say I will be keeping up with all 23 races this coming season,” she said. “I still have things to learn about the sport, but I do know enough to say I really enjoy keeping up with it and want to pursue a career in the field.
“After graduation I plan to attend college and earn a BA in communications, specifically public relations and media management,” Karyme said. “While at college, I plan to study abroad and take advantage of any and all internship/job opportunities. I would love to find media/PR within motorsport, mostly F1.”
Karyme has an appreciation for life and her blessings and attributes her mom as having been the most influential person in her life.
“She has sacrificed a lot and reminds me to be grateful for everything I have.” Karyme said. “My mother also finds ways to keep her culture alive besides living in a different country, and I’ve been able to see different areas of life and the world because of her.”
Karyme has some advice for underclassmen.
“Find something you really, truthfully enjoy doing, and do it. Having something to fall back on is always great and allows you to stay grounded,” she said. “Also remember to do everything with kindness.
“I want to be remembered as someone who is always there for people and who always had a positive outlook on how things could be done,” she added. “From my fellow peers and underclassmen, I want to be remembered as someone they could always talk to and get advice, help, and be there for them.”