Michelle Jaramillo (12), beside a mural at Franklin. Photo by Jonas Boone.

Michelle Jaramillo (12), like many of her fellow Franklin athletes, is excellent at what she does. Now on the varsity soccer team, she started playing soccer when she was just five years old. Her family members were raised on the field. “We’d go there [the park] every weekend, just kicking the ball with my family,” said Jaramillo. She stays involved and motivated with the sport by keeping it light and fun. However, Franklin intramural soccer isn’t her only focus.

When she isn’t kicking around for the home team, Jaramillo enjoys playing basketball in the park. “I play [recreational soccer], and I’m thinking about joining a [soccer] club.”
Beyond sports, her academic performance is quite the feat. After all, the moniker “student athlete” does have two parts. Jaramillo elaborated upon the former saying, “this year I’m in government, English literature, intermediate algebra, and I’m a TA for Ms. Olivera.” It’s no small task to balance with the responsibilities of a varsity soccer player.

“My favorite thing about Michelle, as a teammate, is that she’s such a motivational person,” said Ilse Stacklie-Vogt (11). She recounted an anecdote relating to how Michelle often commands inspiration and optimism among her teammates, specifically in the aftermath of a game earlier this year against Madison High School. “It was a quiet bus ride home and everyone was crying,” Stacklie-Vogt recalled. “Then, Michelle stood up on the bus and said, ‘we love playing soccer, and I want all of you to walk off this bus with a smile on your face!’” Stacklie-Vogt went so far as to describe Jaramillo as a “loud-spirited person.” “That’s exactly the kind of energy you need on a team,” said Stacklie-Vogt.

On the matter of what keeps her coming back to soccer, Jaramillo posited, “I like how we as a team can all have things in common, and you make new friends every time, and meet new people,” said Jaramillo. “I think it’s another way to get together and make a second family.”
Finally, for anyone considering becoming a student athlete like herself, Jaramillo advises trying things out of the ordinary: “I feel like you should just step out of your comfort zone and give it a try!”

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