Lakota West senior is leading the way, all the way from Cuba

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WEST CHESTER, Ohio - The kids are back in school and that means it's time we spotlight our first student of the week. She's only been in the United States for three years, but she's made the most of them helping out whoever she can.

Mainleys Castaneda-Ceballos is a senior at Lakota West High School in West Chester. She moved to Butler County along with her family in August of 2009. She didn't speak any English when she arrived, but now Castaneda-Ceballos volunteers to help other students and families learn the language.

"I feel like I have a place in this society, and it is to help my peers and those kids and those families that also came from another country," said Castaneda-Ceballos.

Castaneda-Ceballos is a member of the National Honor Society, student government and the Spanish Club. She ranks 46th out of 640 students and carries a 4.12 weighted GPA.

"In my country I was always a really good student. So I wanted to keep that going here even though it was another language I always worked really hard and I don't see it as, I see it as a challenge, not as another language I have to learn," said Castaneda-Ceballos.

Ask anyone at Lakota West and they'll tell you Castaneda-Ceballos has left her mark on the faculty, the students and the school.

"She's definitely a role model and academically she just shines so much that, that inspires other students to want to do their best," said Renee Walker, a media center aid with the school district.

Castaneda-Ceballos says she plans on attending a local university to study medicine so she can continue to help people but still remain close to her family she loves so much.

Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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