Skip to main content

The City Journals

Taylorsville senior earns National Merit Scholarship

May 21, 2020 10:57AM ● By Kathryn Elizabeth Jones

By Kathryn Elizabeth Jones | [email protected]

Maren Curtis, a senior at Taylorsville High, believes in making a difference, not only in her community but far away from home.

Serving a three-week mission in Best Bengal, India, as part of the Youth Making a Difference program was anything short of easy. She taught English, worked on hygiene projects at a women’s shelter and even experienced sleeping on the dirt floor on a roll-out mat.

“It was culturally humbling, very different,” she said. “Reading was even a different experience.”

Maren learned leadership skills and saw firsthand how “privileged an existence” she had back home.

“Showers were very cold in India,” she said.

Still, Maren enjoyed eating the food prepared there for her and learning about the different cultures. “I liked hearing the life stories of the women,” she said.

Christy Curtis, who described her daughter as a “very smart, precocious child,” also said she was “a good reader, and very into doing it all.”

Just recently Maren was awarded the President’s Scholarship from the University of Utah, as well as the coveted National Merit Scholarship. She has been highly involved in Key Club, serving as lieutenant governor of Divisions 1,2 and 8 for the Utah and Idaho regions. She has also maintained a cumulative 4.0 GPA.

Maren has played the Cello since fifth grade band and currently has added the guitar to her repertoire of fun. Along with her school and community service activities, she also loves to draw — on herself primarily.

“The ink I use only lasts a couple of days,” she said.

She also cooks with her sister, vegetarian food mostly.

“Maren doesn’t believe in doing anything part way,” Christy Curtis said. “People sometimes ask me how I managed to raise such a good student. I have to tell them, it’s because of her drive. I can’t do that for her.”

Maren is organized and professional in her duties, according to Christy, who said her daughter has never just “signed up” for anything; she “gets involved.”

Maren agrees. She said you have to prioritize things you want to do in life to make your life happen. She works at City of South Jordan Special Events and said her work is “super understanding” about all of her involvement outside of work.

Her teachers have helped her along the way, especially her current teacher, Pamela Hunter, who teaches AP psychology. Maren also had Hunter in ninth grade AP geography and said that her teacher’s experience with travel and culture has really impacted her life.

Still, what is going on right now with COVID-19 is hardly easy.

“Everything right now is difficult, but communicating with my teachers helps,” she said. Her biggest challenges are math and chemistry.

“I sometimes need someone to explain it to me, but though it is challenging I’m getting through it.” she said.

Motivation is key, according to Maren who sometimes shifts from one task to another just to keep things interesting.

“If you don’t feel motivated, work on something for 10 minutes, and then go on to something else,” she said. “Once you get going, it’s great.”

As for the future, Maren is planning on becoming a registered dietitian.

“I’ve always really liked nutrition and how it impacts our bodies,” she said. She is excited to attend the University of Utah and is grateful to all of her friends who have helped her succeed, especially Cloe Robinson, who has been an extra positive influence for her along the way.