It seems there's nothing Ukiah High School senior Mariah Larwood can't do. She gets straight A's, swims and plays water polo competitively, paints, is student body president, operates a micro-charity, and still has time for a boyfriend, friends and family.
"She's basically tops at everything she does," said Ukiah High School leadership class teacher Bob Dieffenbach. He predicts Larwood will continue to do great things with her life after high school.
While she enjoys and excels at math, Larwood said she is inclined to pursue a career that involves people, rather than numbers.
She considered engineering, but for now is more interested in exploring her creative side.
Larwood hasn't ruled out medicine or law, but she is currently planning to focus on business or graphic design when she heads off to college in the fall.
"Really, it's an open playing field for me," she said.
Larwood said she's applied to 15 colleges and so far has been accepted by five, including one of her top picks, Boston College.
Where she goes depends largely on whether she can win merit-based scholarships. Her family is neither rich nor poor, so she has neither a trust fund nor qualifies for needbased scholarships, according to her mother, Tara Larwood. The family will have three children in college at once, her mother noted.
Mariah Larwood wants to avoid the burden of having a huge debt upon graduation, she said.
Tara Larwood said her daughter is disciplined and determined and will succeed no matter what college she attends.
Larwood is organized and focused, her mother said. "She's always been a really hard worker."
As soon as Larwood gets home from school or swim practice, she sits down and does her homework.
As a result, she's been able to include a wide variety of extracurricular activities that help make her a well-rounded person, including participating in the school's mock trial.
Last summer, she spent a week each at the U.S. Naval Academy in Maryland, a camp on social justice and gender equality in Wisconsin, and an economics camp at UC Berkeley.
Larwood also finds time for nonschool activities that are just plain fun, like skiing, snowboarding and hiking.
She describes herself as a people person, and those who know her say she's happiest when the people around her also are doing well.
"She's a really kind person, and she thinks about other people's feelings," her mother said.
Once a month, Larwood — who also loves to cook — and a group of friends hold a bake sale and donate the money to a good cause. It doesn't raise a lot of money, she said, but it's helpful to the recipients.
Dieffenbach said the teen is a natural leader who has the skills and personality to become highly successful.
"She has a smile that lights up a room and an energy about her that just makes you want to be better," he said.