Most parents will tell you that they’re content as long as their kids are healthy and happy.
To an extent, that’s true.
But how many people have secretly fantasized that their teenager is ranked first in her class, a member of the National Honor Society, a National Merit Scholar Semi-Finalist, a member of her high school’s Student Body Council, volunteers to teach little kids how to ice skate and is still able to play three varsity sports, two of which she captains?
For Tori Machado’s parents, Helene and Paul, that’s not a fantasy, because Tori is that girl.
“Tori is the real deal,” Jennifer Troy, Tori’s Guidance Counselor at , said. “She has the academics and test scores, but street smarts too. She has great relationships with teachers and her friends. She’s never about herself; she’s always about helping others. She’s super humble, though. That’s why people love her. She’s such a great kid.”
When Troy describes Machado as being humble, it’s an apt description. She is truly modest, downplaying many of her accomplishments. Yet her record speaks for itself. She’s still unsure of her college destination, but said she is considering West Point, “among several other schools.”
Machado is also currently playing defense for the Wamps girls soccer team. She’s been playing soccer for much of her life, and this year’s team has been very competitive and won several close games so far. Coach Matt Freeman said that Tori has played a big role in his team’s ability to stop opponent’s from scoring.
“Last year she was a good defender,” Freeman said. “She had some weaknesses, but she identified them. I didn’t have to identify them. She’s worked hard. She’s one of our leaders. She reads the game really well. She definitely is a hard worker and committed. The best thing about her is everything she does she wants to do well. She always wants to do great. She wants to be the best at everything she does.”
In other words, in Machado’s mind, why bother doing something if you’re not going to put your all into it?
“Basically, if I know something I’m doing isn’t the best I can, I’m going to find a way to fix it,” she said. “I don’t want to do anything where I can’t do the best I can.”
Machado talks about her parents and how they’ve been there for support over the years, but she notes that even though she’s done really well in school and participates in several activities, they were never the type of parents who hovered over her and demanded she be perfect.
“I think her parents let her shine and be who she is,” Troy said. “They’re laid back. That’s the way they are with all their kids (brother John is a sophomore at Stonehill and sister Lauren is a junior at BHS).”
While the fall sports season isn’t over yet, winter will be coming soon, and Machado is a captain of the girls hockey team. Coach Kevin Burchill said that he tried something at the end of last year by having the graduating captains choose a returning player to be this year’s captain. He said they all chose Machado.
“She’s one of those kids I never have to worry about,” Burchill said. “She’s good for 2-3 points every game. She never has a bad game. If she make a mistake she knows before I correct it.”
Hockey is Machado’s best sport (she also plays lacrosse in the spring). In fact, she’s approaching the school’s career scoring record, which is held by Amanda Abromson, who graduated last year.
Burchill is also involved with the Learn to Skate program, which teaches 4-5 year-olds how to ice skate. The girls hockey team as a whole is very involved with this program, and Machado mentioned it as something she really enjoys doing.
“Learn to Skate is probably my favorite [volunteer activity],” she said. “It’s fun to work with kids and teach them something you know how to do. Hopefully they play on a team someday.”
It’s only October and many high seniors are worried about making last-minute adjustments to their college resumes or still deciding which schools to apply to. But, like Troy said Tori always does, Machado is thinking of others. This time it’s her soccer teammates.
“Everyone is really involved,” Machado said of the soccer team. “It’s a great representation of kids at our school. It’s one of the most fun teams I’ve played on. We’re all really close. Everyone is supportive. We’ve all been playing together since we were eight.”
Machado is still putting the finishing touches on sending out her college applications. Soon her days at Braintree High will come to end, and the future will begin for her.
“Any college who gets her will be lucky,” Troy said. “She’ll be a great kid in college. She’s going to be making a difference and doing something in the world.”