BlogTrailblazerAntonia Mercado Garrido – The Ponds High School | Top 50 Year 12 Trailblazer 2022

Antonia Mercado Garrido – The Ponds High School | Top 50 Year 12 Trailblazer 2022

Antonia Mercado Garrido

What are the Trailblazer Awards?

The Trailblazer Awards celebrates Year 12 students beyond their ATAR, recognising those who have overcome personal challenges and used their final year of school to positively impact their community.

Our Trailblazers will have the opportunity to network with industry leaders, build their personal brand and profile as a future leader, get exam ready in our 1-day HSC Trials Accelerator, and so much more!

Find out how Antonia navigated Year 12 differently throughout 2022!

Introducing: Antonia Mercado Garrido

Category: Social Impact & Change

School: The Ponds High School 

State: NSW

Career Aspiration: Working in healthcare as a doctor or neuropsychologist 


  • Being a member of her school’s social justice club
  • Fundraising for those affected by the floods earlier in 2022
  • Being accepted into the Macquarie Cup Zone Netball Competition

What makes Antonia a Trailblazer?

Antonia is a member of her school’s social justice club, allowing her to help her school and general community! Through this club, Antonia successfully helped to raise money for individuals who were affected by the floods earlier this year. This was done through a fundraiser where the club sold pancakes, drinks and hash browns, as well as doing money collections in classrooms. In fact, Antonia is one of the seniors in the social justice club, so she is constantly in charge of organising the fundraisers, brainstorming ideas, and leading the discussion for younger students. This is not the only work that Antonia does however, as she was also accepted to play in the Macquarie Cup Zone Netball Competition, where she was able to compete in several rounds against other schools. In addition to this, Antonia also works as a cashier at Coles, making sure to assist anyone she can and adhering to different customers needs.

Through the fundraiser for the floods that Antonia hosted through her social justice club, they were able to raise a significant amount of money. In one day, they were able to collect over $2000, all of which went to the flood victims. This achievement shows great selflessness and support for others, reflecting Antonia’s desire to help out others! As a member of this club, she has been able to develop her communication skills, especially with those who are younger. This has fostered collaboration between the year levels at Antonia’s school, and taught her how to negotiate and have patience with younger students.

Naturally, it has been difficult to complete year 12 in a pandemic, and Antonia has had to navigate challenges surrounding family conflict and testing positive for COVID-19. However, with her problem solving skills and respectful attitude, we are sure that Antonia will be able to overcome these challenges.

“The most rewarding part about this experience was actually setting up the tables, putting up the decorations for the fundraiser and assisting the customers by getting them the food that they wanted and then giving them their change back.”

Antonia has shown herself to be a very empathetic person, so it makes sense that her dream is to work in the healthcare field! She intends on becoming a doctor or neuropsychologist, so that she can use her communication and critical thinking skills.

It is for these skills and her dedication to helping others that we are proud to call Antonia one of our Top 50 Trailblazers!

The Top 50 Year 12 Trailblazer Awards

The Trailblazer Awards aim to identify and celebrate students who use their final years of school to invest holistically in the skills and experiences that will maximise their own future opportunities and make a contribution to the future of our society.

Our winners for the Year 12 Trailblazer Awards have demonstrated initiative in volunteering for their school or community, have participated in co-curricular activities, and have held leadership positions within their schools.

Learn more about who placed in the Top 50 Year 12 Trailblazers here!

About Art of Smart Education

At Art of Smart Education, we’re an award-winning provider of holistic tutoring and mentoring for students in years K-12. Our mission is to help students answer the difficult question, “What am I going to do with my life when I finish school, and how do I get there?” 

We understand that true success involves mastering study, career and leadership skills while maintaining your wellbeing, not just excelling in academics and as a result, over the last decade, we’ve supported over 10,000 students to achieve their best and maximise their options for life after school.

Each year over one million young Australians, parents, and teachers access our guides, videos and resources to navigate the journey through high school.

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