TreeHuggerCapNGown(Photo credit: Ro Burch Photography)

Just one more day and my baby girl will be graduating high school. Where did the time go? I’ve been asking myself this a lot lately. I am so incredibly proud of her. She has worked hard and achieved so much. This sweet, intelligent, generous, strong, articulate, and beautiful girl has grown to be an amazing young lady.  She has pushed herself to step outside her comfort zone and planted seeds of friendship, ever fearful that those seeds would scatter to the wind, never rooting.  But she tended to those seeds and watched them sprout and bloom and she cultivated some of the best friends she could ever have hoped for.

In her academic pursuits, she has managed to hold her own. She arrived to this country knowing how to speak English fluently, but extremely far behind in reading and writing. She overcame that challenge and eventually moved into the Advanced Placement English class her senior year. She was selected by the principal of her school as one of the Top Ten Graduating Seniors for 2018 and honored as such by the Arlington South Rotary Club. She participated in sports, Texas Academic Decathlon, a Ready, Set, Teach! practicumWinter Guard competitions, Texas Association for Future Educatorscompetitions, Just Keep Livin’ foundationInteract, was a founding member of the revival of the Muslim Student Association at her school, and a dedicated volunteer with Starry Night Prom, Inc. She was accepted into two prestigious private colleges and awarded the Dean’s Scholarship to both. She selected Texas Wesleyan University. She was also awarded two local scholarships; the Jimmy Riner Scholarship and the Chapa-Salas scholarship. 

She worked at a local fast food restaurant to pay for all of the “senior stuff,” as she calls it. Her yearbook, cap and gown, letterman jacket, her laptop, and the deposit to hold her spot at Texas Wesleyan University, she decided to pay for on her own. THIS is what responsibility looks like. This kid has taken her dreams of “what I want to be when I grow up” and whittled it down from Mom-Teacher-Lawyer-Psychologist-Dancer-Softball Coach-Manager for a WWE Superstar-Musician to Teacher-Softball Coach-Lawyer-Mom and maybe Manager for a WWE Superstar once she retires from the others. She’ll do it, too. All of it. I believe in her.

And my heart will pound so hard tomorrow night that I will barely hear her as she welcomes the Sam Houston High Family to the commencement in Arabic, before walking across that stage as a Cum Laude, National Honor Society, AVID 2018 High School Graduate. Congratulations, Sam.

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