Sharing culture: Was born and lived in Ethiopia until she was 9. Organized with classmates an “Ethiopia” week last week to share her culture with a new wrinkle each day. Was pleased her peers were more adventuresome than she imagined in trying Ethiopian dances and foods. “I thought people would look at the food and just walk away, but they were interested in trying it.”
School philosophy: Get involved in whatever interests you. That’s what prompted her to try Ethiopia week and promote multi-cultural awareness. Now is eager to get a Students Together Opposing Poverty (STOP) club off the ground at her school. “If you want to do something, no one will stop you.”
College plans: Hopes to attend University of Washington next fall and major in civil engineering. Would be following in her father’s footsteps. He works for state Department of Transportation and she would like to do the same, but also hopes to return to Ethiopia and help with projects there.
Getting a taste: Attended a summer engineering camp in Indiana for young women interested in pursuing engineering careers. Built a model bridge, robot and amplifier among other things. Camp solidified career choice.
Rigor: Is taking four classes at Edmonds-Woodway, including college-level Advanced Placement calculus, computer-aided drafting and honors physics. Also enrolled at Edmonds Community College in the Running Start program that provides free college credits to high school students. “This is my last year. This is free education so I’m taking advantage of it to the extent I can.”
Open mind: “I just love to learn. This is my whole motivation. It’s become my passion, learning something new every day. It doesn’t matter what it is.”
Good times: Loves EWHS homecoming each fall. “It’s crazy with all the spirit. I just love the spirit.”
Hoofing it: Lives a block from high school and walks to class.
Favorite subject: “Math, for some reason I just love it.”
On the run: Is on school’s cross country team. Likes the act of running. “It gives me time to relax and think about the day and about things I need to do.”
Favorite book: “A Hope in the Unseen” by Ron Suskind.
Joyful return: Visited extended family in Ethiopia last year, surprising them with her ability to still speak their language, Amharic. “They thought I was going to forget about Ethiopia. They were really shocked and amazed. There was so much love. Everyone was wanting to see me.”
Keeping up: Practices Amharic with family and Ethiopian community in Puget Sound because she doesn’t want to lose her native language.
Feeling fortunate: Living in America has opened up chances to do well she might no have had in Ethiopia. “There you need luck to succeed. In America, there is a lot of opportunity” for those who work hard.
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