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Athlete of the Week: Palm Beach Gardens' Julia Cartales

Palm Beach Gardens volleyball player Julia Cartales.

A volleyball star, a student ace, a future doctor - Palm Beach Gardens' Julia Cartales has greatness ahead of her off the court. But it's a major moment in her past that pushes her towards that future. Julia is the CBS12 Athlete of the Week.

"When she goes after something she does it with everything that she has," says Gardens volleyball coach Joy VanDyke.

And Cartales' all out effort on the volleyball court not only mirrors her effort in the classroom, but her desire to be the best leader in life she can be.

"Part of being a team player is being energetic, being loud and being there for them," says Cartales.

"She's engaging and she's the loudest one out there on the bench and on the court," adds VanDyke.

"That's how I am off the court," says Cartales. "Like as a student that's how I am. My academic life kind of falls into my athletic life."

Which explains why Carteles is 6th in her class out of 650 seniors, maintaining a 4.0 GPA, leading the Gators towards the playoffs, while working towards med school, a dream she's had for as long as she can remember.

"When I was five my brother had a twin and he died and my doctor was not supposed to live actually, but the doctors and the nurses that we had were just so amazing. He's basically a miracle baby and he survived because of them. So I know medicine is what I want to do in order to give back to the people who have helped me in my life in regards to my brother."

And Cartales' love for Volleyball and her Gator teammates has been the most important fuel and motivation.

"Our chemistry has been better than ever so to be able to take the chemistry that we have now and like go further with it to districts, regionals and hopefully even states as a senior - that would definitely be a dream come true."

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