Elena Soto

Senior Spotlight


Elena Soto, an Adams senior, will not only be named one of the 2020 Valedictorians, but she is also an accomplished artist hoping to continue in that field. One of Elena’s several IB courses is HL art, in which she has been building her own personal exhibit. Of all of her art, she mostly makes 2-dimensional pieces, including illustrations with colored pencils and watercolor work. Currently, she is working on a mobile for her IB exhibit.

Elena attended Clay High School for her freshman year before transferring to Adams mid-way through her sophomore year. Although Clay is known to be the artistic school of the corporation, Elena found her niche in IB art. Her exhibit is centered around mental health, featuring a mobile of prescription bottles and other emotive pieces. 

When asked what her favorite art piece is that she has made she had two answers. Most recently, she made a series of colored pencil illustrations depicting a girl “ripping her skin down to reveal her skeleton beneath.” Her other favorite is a colored pencil portrait of a doll with cracked skin, also revealing a skeleton. “I really like anatomy,” she comments. “I do a lot of skeleton and body work.” This piece, named “Imperfect” won a Silver Key in a Scholastic art competition and is currently being displayed in downtown South Bend at the Century Center.

Outside of her artwork, Elena has worked extremely hard in school, understanding that she feels her best when she tries her hardest. “I try to work as hard as I can on everything that I do because I want everything to come out well. I feel like if I put in all the effort that I can, things will come out a lot better,” she comments. “I want to work as hard as I can because I really want to get to a point where I am doing the best in my field that I can.”

She also finds friendships and the relationships she has built to be some of the most important components to her high school career. One of her favorite memories from the past four years was attending her Junior Prom last year. “I have some mental health issues, so it was really nice to have one day to be with my boyfriend and to go to a dance with him. Although I was really anxious I felt really pretty that night and just felt really happy to spend time with him and my friends.”

Elena admits that she has changed significantly from Freshman year to now. “Freshman year I was such an anxious, little person. I wore a lot of baggy clothes and was just really scared to express myself,” she says. “With the help of my friends and teachers I have gotten a lot better and I’m not afraid to be more in the spotlight.” In general, she says that she is just a much happier person than she was four years ago.

In the fall Elena will be attending Saint Mary’s College with a double major in Psychology and Art, aspiring to one day become an art therapist. She eventually hopes to go into the Notre Dame Psychology doctoral program to receive her doctorate. Although she is excited for next year, Elena is also nervous. “Oh god, that means I have to be an adult now,” she joked. “I’m really nervous but I’m not scared to move on because I’m ready to branch out and I’m excited to study more of the classes that I want to be studying.” In her future she sees herself possibly working in a mental health facility, “trying to help the little kids express themselves through art in a safe and healthy way. I really want to help people and I really see myself trying to make a difference in people’s lives.”