Advice to incoming Shabazz freshmen?
Your freshman year is going to seem hard and scary at first, but trust me, that feeling doesn't last long. When you are having a hard time and something feels like it's not going right, trust me, in a month that's not going matter anymore. You can't change what already happened. Instead learn from that experience and remember that for next time. I don't remember all the silly little fights I've had with my friends from my freshman year.
Do all of the little things that come with being in high school. Don't hold back on doing something because you are scared or unsure about what might go wrong. Instead think about what could right and how many memories you will have. Make sure to have a good support person! That's the best thing you could have. Find a teacher or staff member who you create a special bond with and trust me, you are going to love that. That person will see you at your absolute best and your worst. They will be there for all of the achievements and will be a good shoulder to cry on. They are going to be that person who is always rooting for you. But most importantly, remember to have fun! High school is where you really start to learn who you are. Remember, there is always someone there for you. Be safe, have fun, make the most of high school.
Is there a staff member who inspired or influenced your journey?
I have 4 teachers who have helped me the most in the same way. Michael (and Molly) Jones, Cassandra Meyers, and Jeff and Julie Evert. These teachers have helped me the absolute most. Mr. Jones and Ms. Meyers have helped me get through middle school, made sure I was doing all right, made sure I was getting my work done, and most importantly, prepared me for high school. When Mr. Jones brought in his therapy dog Molly, it was good to have her around when I needed that support. We have such a special bond, she was really great.
Jeff and Julie Evert have helped me through high school. Julie has been my support person from my freshman year to junior year. She learned how to help me best, get me out of my comfort zone, make sure I was getting work done and helped with overall life. When she had to leave my senior year to go help somewhere else I knew I was going to be okay because I had Jeff. I have worked with him all 4 years of high school. He mostly helped me with math, but now helps with everything that Julie did too. I'm going to miss these teachers the most. They have made such a big impact on my life and made me who I am today, made me feel comfortable in myself, taught me how to speak up for myself, taught me to feel comfortable with doing a lot of things on my own, made me love going to school, and made sure I was ready for after high school.
What’s next in your journey?
After I graduate I want to take a gap year. I want to spend time with family and friends. I want travel to California and Arizona. See the world through a new start. I want have my first job. And give myself time away from school. After my gap year I want to go college to start my training to become a CNA and do that for a little. I might want to become a nurse after a couple of years. I know that some point I want to become a at home nurse.
“You are a collection of the stories you've read and the night skies you've admired. You are the smiles you've given to strangers and the tears you've lost on your pillows. You are the lives you've touched. You are the adventures you've had and will have. You are your imagination and anticipation. You are not simple.”
What is something you’re proud of?
When I was asked this question for my school yearbook, I thought long and hard about this. The thing that stuck with me the most is that I'm graduating high school! School has always been such a hard thing for me, and the fact that I can that made it all 12 years is absolutely amazing to me. I worked so hard to get where I am now. It was definitely worth every moment of it. I know that my time isn't over either. Just because I'm going to be out of high school doesn't mean that I'm done working hard. I want to accomplish big things in life.
What else should we know about you?
I am doing so good with my grades, which I even got an award for! When In my freshman year, I wasn't too worried about that. I wouldn't try as hard and would slack off a lot. Then my sophomore year is when COVID hit, and I missed half the year of in-school learning without a very good structure or set schedules. That was very hard and my grades weren't the best. I spent my whole junior year in a world pandemic with online learning and uncertainty about what was going to happen week by week while dealing with personal stuff at the same time. After a year and half of being away from school and mainly people in general, I was very worried about going back to finish off my senior year. And to my surprise it has gone by really well and so fast. I have made amazing friends since then and I'm doing so well in school.