Family First Attitude Helped Gurgel Triumph


Ainsley Black, Staff Writer

Anna Gurgel is the oldest sister of five and is very close with her four younger sisters. She drives a minivan now that her family upgraded to a 12-passenger van for their fun traveling adventures. Gurgel loves to bake cakes for celebrity birthdays with her little sister, Kennedy, who is a freshman at Highland.

Gurgel’s love for her family, particularly her little sisters, and her love for baking fueled her desire to apply to be the Sterling Scholar for family and consumer sciences.

She earned the award at Highland and then went on to be named the top Sterling Scholar in her category for the state of Utah.

The process to get to this point is incredibly competitive but Gurgel put in the work.

“It was a really long application and interview process,” Gurgel said. “I succeeded in my category because I have been a state officer for Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) and have competed in three national FCCLA events.”

Gurgel has worked extremely hard for the opportunity to be a Sterling Scholar for the state of Utah, but she has also been having a fun time being a senior this year. After she graduates, she plans to have a crazy summer, and she is looking forward to starting school in the fall.

Gurgel’s mom, Kristie Gurgel, has been one of her main supporters through the time and process it has taken her to complete her sterling scholar work.

“Anna loves baking specialty cakes for celebrity birthdays with her sisters,” Kristie said. “She loves running and playing the cello.”

As well as being Utah’s sterling scholar for family and consumer sciences, Gurgel also has been a runner on Highland’s Cross-Country team. She has loved being a part of the team and competing.

When she was younger, Gurgel was a kid who was always curious and wanted to learn everything about nature, people, and science. This curiosity stayed with her as she went to high school and chose her classes.

“I started taking foods classes my freshman year and loved it,” Gurgel said. “I mean who doesn’t love food? FCCLA was really what got me hooked [on family and consumer sciences] because I am a very competitive person, and it is a competitive organization.”

Gurgel had not decided where she would be attending school in the fall. She was still debating between a few different schools, and still had not made the decision. The deadline for her choice was May 1st, and she was happy to have the time.

As of May 1st, Gurgel decided she will be attending the University of Utah to continue her education.

She is loving being a senior because it makes her top of the food chain. Not only is she the oldest at school, but at home too.

“She has four little sisters who look up to her in everything,” Kristie said.

Gurgel loves her sisters and explained that being the oldest with four behind her helps keep her life interesting.

Working towards sterling scholar is not a small school project. It takes a lot of time and commitment both inside and out of school, so it’s also a home project.

With all the demanding work that she had put in, her parents were there for her. “My family is the best,” Gurgel said. “My parents are super supportive and chill.”

“Anna did everything herself for sterling scholar, so I’m not sure what she had to do,” Kristie said.

Anna is super competitive which has pushed her drive for sterling scholar. Even though she was independent in working towards this goal, having her parents support was helpful.

Now that sterling scholar has been decided, Gurgel can continue to work hard while also having a fun rest of senior year.

She cannot live without Google Maps and Costa Vida.

“If I didn’t have Google Maps, I’d probably get lost inside a Costa Vida,” Gurgel said. “And I know that place by heart!”

Until school begins in the Fall, she will finish senior year and have a fun summer with her friends, Costa Vida, and baking with her little sisters.