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20130412 MHS Actress visits campus AF 6242 featureMISSION—Hard work really does pay off. That was the lesson Mission High School sophomores learned last Friday as actress Marisa Quinn, known for her role as Huilen in the Twilight Saga: “Breaking Dawn Part 2,” visited the school as a reward for their efforts on recent exams.

Quinn, born Quintanilla, is originally from Mission and attended Bryan Elementary. She later graduated from Brown University and attended the National Theatre Institute as she pursued her dreams of acting.

Dean of Instruction Ada Castillo explained the students were recently tested on their English Language Arts End-of-Course exam, and staff noticed that they were taking the examination seriously. She added, the point of the event was to show students could achieve their goals, and it is always up to the individual.

“All week long we have been talking about achieving our goals, and that is exactly why we brought this special guest in,” Counselor Esmeralda Saenz said. “Because she has achieved some of her goals…and she is from the Valley. Her parents attended Mission High School.”

Quinn has played roles on TV shows: “Sons of Anarchy,” “Private Practice” and “Criminal Minds.” She also had a role in the film, “Road House 2” as character Nadja.

When Quinn walked on stage at the Mission High School Theater Arts Building, she said she was asked to talk to the students about goals, but decided she would make a change.

“I told myself goals are cool, but I’d rather talk about achieving your dreams,” Quinn said. “Because what I didn’t know at your age was that my dreams were real, and that I could make them possible.”

Quinn explained to the students that as long as they work hard and follow their passions they would find success in life. She encouraged students to practice and enjoy activities that make them happy, even if they are not sure of their future goals.

“That’s okay to not know what you are going to do with your life, … as long as you have something that makes you excited,” Quinn said. “As long as … something is motivating you, it is going to set you on the path for success.”

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