Spotlight On: Firefighter Maria Pelcher


On Tuesday, November 20 2018 Holyoke High students had an event where people with different careers came in and spoke about what they do and how what they do benefits the community. This event was called the Reverse Job Shadow.

Although the other careers were interesting, firefighter Maria Pelchar stood out among the rest. She spoke about her struggles and how she underestimated her ability to become a firefighter because others told her she was “too small”. At just 16, she moved to Holyoke from Guatemala and knew very little English. She still pulled through and graduated from Holyoke High School. She worked for a little bit, but wasn’t really interested in what she was doing because, at heart, she knew she was meant to be a firefighter.

Working long and hard, her passions finally came to life. She takes pride in her work because she knows that in the end she’s saving lives. Wouldn’t you feel accomplished if you knew that all your hard work is going to pay off just knowing that you trained and prepared to save people?

Firefighters aren’t only called in fires; they are called when someone’s stuck in a tree, car accidents, and more.  Her father and her uncle are both retired firefighters so she had already been around the environment. This had been her dream, and listening to her story made me realize that no matter the obstacles, no matter what people try to tell you, focus and get the job done.