By SAMANTHA SMITH, Staff Writer | Published February 6, 2020
ATLANTA—Maria Trujillo Sanchez lives by the motto, “Do what you have to do, do it well and do it with love.”
Described as someone who is always thinking of others and for her dedication to Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School, Trujillo was among those honored at the 13th annual banquet for Catholic education on Saturday, Jan. 25 at the Hilton Atlanta Marietta Hotel and Conference Center. Trujillo has worked at Cristo Rey School in facilities management for more than four years. She is described by the school as a tireless worker, always willing to help in any situation without complaint.
Originally from Veracruz, Mexico, Trujillo moved to Atlanta six years ago from Oregon. She is a member of San Felipe de Jesus Mission in Forest Park, where she first heard of the opening of Cristo Rey in Atlanta.
“It was a blessing to me to hear about a Catholic school in Georgia,” she said.
For Trujillo, Cristo Rey in Atlanta is a family affair—all of her children have a connection to the school. Her oldest, Vivian, works at the front desk. Her two youngest children, Kevin and Jackie are alumni of the high school, having graduated in the first and second classes, respectively.
I know all the students by face, said Trujillo, “and I love them.”
From her time at the school, Trujillo has learned that even when blending different cultures, you can still get along with one another.
“We can work together for our kids, our students,” she said.
In addition to her work at Cristo Rey School, Trujillo is an active volunteer at the Forest Park mission, where she helps with youth group ministries and the charismatic group. After her experience with her own teenagers, she realized that young people needed somebody accompanying them.
Through her time working with the youth groups, she built relationships with her kids’ friends. Some of them call her “tía,” meaning aunt in Spanish, even though they are not related.
“Maria is very dedicated to the well-being of the young people,” said Father Jacques Fabre, pastor of San Felipe de Jesus Mission. She helps organize summer camps, gives classes for quinciñeras, nurtures the youth spiritually through charismatic renewal and assists with celebrations for the Independence Day of Mexico and feasts of the Central American countries, he said.
“We are glad she has been recognized for so many things she does quietly. May God bless her always,” said Father Fabre.
See the list of education honorees for 2020.