CARTHAGE, Mo. — Melina Figuero-Vargas doesn’t have much time left at Carthage High School, with her last day less than a month away.

It’s been a very busy senior year.

“I’ve done Spanish Club for a little bit, but I’m in FBLA, FCLA. I did LINK crew. it’s like one occasion for a freshman NHS Student Council,” said Melina Figuero-Vargas, CHS Senior.

Giving her lots of chances to help out.

That starts with helping freshmen get ready for their new school before classes begin.

“Like, show them their schedules, show them the classes and just like give them a tour of the school… Because we included creating friends. So like those freshmen coming in, I already know some of the seniors and then they can it’s easier for them to ask for help,” said Figuero-Vargas/

Melina has helped clean up the community, pitching in on park clean-up days.

She’s a volunteer for the Carthage Special Olympics, and she helps out with one of the biggest events of the year, as volunteer security for the Maple Leaf Festival.

“During the parade, they cross over, a lot of people like to run across the street to their side, but you just keep them back,” said Figuero-Vargas.

While some teens might think that takes time away from homework, a part-time job, or just fun their senior year – Melina says it’s not a sacrifice.

“I just feel like giving time to others is very important. And not being selfish. If I had the time I don’t want to waste it doing something it won’t have as much of an impact as it would with like being involved with the school,” said Figuero-Vargas.

Just one of the reasons Melissia Ruiz is excited to see the newest addition to the Golden Lion Award.

“She is always good to everybody, to help out and to go above and beyond academically. Or help out in a social type manner, or just within the school building as a whole,” said Melissia Ruiz, CHS Process Coordinator.

Melina has a clear path to graduation – and what happens after that.

“I plan to attend Missouri Southern and I want to major in criminal justice. And after graduation I plan to move to Texas and work at the border,” said Figuero-Vargas.