Transitions: Immigrated from Iraq to America when he was 8. Knew no English when he started elementary school, but now takes a rigorous schedule, including college-level advanced placement English and government, honors physics, visual communication and high level integrated math and science course.
Transitions II: Attended middle school in north Everett before moving. Had to start over and meet new friends at Mariner as an incoming freshman. “I got lost. I didn’t know where I was going. I asked all these seniors and they would help me out.” Now, he’s a student mentor helping four freshmen through their first year and a peer mediator when conflicts arise among students.
Running convert: Spent first two years turning out for tennis and soccer before a friend recruited him to cross country and track. “My friend said, ‘Hey you are skinny and you can probably run.’ I said, ‘Are you sure, man?” Made district last year and ran more than 200 miles over the summer in training.
A challenge: Part of cross-country season coincides with Ramadan, the Islamic holy month with fasting from dawn to dusk. It affected his performance last year. “I’ll plan better this year.”
Hopes ahead: Wants to attend an in-state college or university and is considering majors of mechanical engineering and business.
Lesson from dad: Used to wonder why his family moved to America. Dad told him, “to get an education.” Message sunk in when Mustafa was in middle school. Often studies three hours a night.
Favorite books: The Quran, “Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck, “The First Man” by Albert Camus.
Thoughts on Mariner: “I love it. I just hang out with everybody, all kinds of races and people. I love schools like that.”
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