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Lofty goals, strong work ethic drive Scarborough graduate

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Lofty goals, strong work ethic drive Scarborough graduate

SCARBOROUGH — You could say Felicia Mazzone is goal oriented.

From her schoolwork, employment and volunteer work, to her position as goalie on the girls' hockey team, the Scarborough High School senior has been motivated by her hard work and her drive to succeed.

And sometimes, by serendipity.

Mazzone attributes her love of hockey to a special offer from Domino's Pizza.

A while back, her family began attending Portland Pirates hockey games because Domino's had a buy one, get one free ticket deal with every pizza purchase. She quickly became "obsessed" with goalies, she said, and eventually worked for the Pirates as a game intern.

Her interest in observing the game soon turned to a passion for playing it and she joined her high school club, which was not, at that time, a sanctioned team sport.

"The team is such a big family," she said. "We have our ups and downs but always support each other."

Her coach became her role model, teaching the girls that they can do anything boys can do, she said.

In her junior year, the team won the state championship with a 20-0 record; Mazzone chalked up 10 shut-outs.

Though this year – the first the sport was sanctioned –their record was not as good, they made it to the semi-finals, where they lost to Cheverus, she said.

At ease with sticks and pucks, Mazzone appears to be equally comfortable volunteering with Roots & Shoots, an environmental program through the Jane Goodall Institute. Her involvement with the organization goes back eight years, and for the past five, she has been on the group's New England Youth Leadership Council. She hopes to take on a bigger leadership role with the organization, she said, by starting new groups once she's in college.

Her interest in the environment carries over to her studies. With a continued interest in the natural sciences, Mazzone will pursue a degree in biology at the University of Southern Maine.

Because of her love of animals (she owns two dogs, a rabbit, a bird and three rapidly-growing chickens that hatched in her biology class) she is often asked if she aspires to a career in veterinary medicine. While it's a sure bet she will always surround herself with animals, Mazzone said she wants to be a biology teacher for elementary or high school students – to inspire them the way she was inspired by her science teachers.

"Good teachers influenced my decision to teach," she said. "Even in second grade, I knew what I wanted to do."

In addition to all of her extracurricular activities, Mazzone has worked for the past three years in the barn at Smiling Hill Farm – 20 hours a week during the school year and 40 hours a week during the summer.

"It's just me and my boss and the cows," she said. "I get to help deliver the calves and have even gotten to name a few."

Mazzone attributes her love of animals to her mother, who used to take her to petting zoos when she was small.

And she credits her love of Italian cooking to her father, whose recipes are all in his head. As she learns his traditional family recipes, she writes them down to preserve them for future generations.

Mazzone said high school has ultimately helped her become more self-confident.

"I have this analogy about high school – it's like a game of checkers," she said. "There are a bunch of different pieces and you have to be ready to react to any piece moving. So many things happen in high school you don't expect; you have to learn how to deal with them and go on."

Peggy Roberts can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or proberts@theforecaster.net.