Ozge Dogan, 18, Meadowdale High School, senior

Impressive work ethic: Dogan moved to America from Turkey two years ago with little knowledge of the U.S. political system. Even so, she earned the highest grade in her American government class at Meadowdale last fall.

Lots of drive: To make sure she would be ready for advanced placement (college-level) calculus this year, Dogan took three different math courses last year and a pre-calculus class at Edmonds Community College last summer.

“I have a strong will. When I want to get something done, I get it done and it doesn’t matter what it takes,” she said.

This year she is taking four English classes, calculus and physics. So far, her favorite book she has read in America is “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Making the move: Dogan lived in Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city, and had many friends. “I grew up with many Armenian people,” she said. “I am glad that happened. I got to know other cultures. I played basketball with them a lot. It was our meeting place.”

In Turkey, she was president of the school’s debate group and vice president of her class. This year, she is a member of Meadowdale’s Diversity Leadership Club.

Adjustments to make: Dogan began learning English in Turkey but it didn’t sound much like what she hears around here. “When I came here, it was a struggle to understand people’s accents,” she said. “They taught us proper British English in Turkey.”

Other differences: In Turkey, she wore a school uniform, including a tie, which made it hard to differentiate between social classes. “I prefer uniforms,” she said. “I have seen people worry too much about what they wear.”

Big dreams: Dogan has been accepted to the University of Washington where she plans to study computer engineering. Her hope is to get a good-paying job that will allow her to save for medical school to become a doctor.

Community service: Since arriving in Edmonds, where her father owns a business, Dogan has been involved in community service. Last year, she volunteered at the City of Edmonds and Edmonds Elementary School, where she played chess with children and filed library books.

Feeling more at home: Dogan is becoming increasingly comfortable in her new surroundings and with her grasp of English. “I am a totally different person from two years ago,” she said

Know a super kid? Call us at 425-339-3036 or schoolfyi@heraldnet.com.

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