By Katie Kresly
In Seatac live two of Highline’s sweetest and brightest gems. Rahel, Tyee High School’s 2021 valedictorian, is now pursuing a computer science degree. Her younger sister Hasset, a Tyee junior, aspires to earn a master’s degree in psychology and become a professor. In addition to their academic focus, they are both community volunteers and enjoy engaging with people.
Their story is inspirational, and it started long ago when their parents, Tad and Zee, immigrated from Ethiopia to Seattle to give their future children better opportunities in life.
Of course, all dreams come with challenges. Hasset explained that while she loves Tyee, “drama is normal,” like fights, vaping in the bathrooms, and other disruptive behavior. She avoids negative distractions by staying focused on her studies and surrounding herself with supportive, positive friends.
The sisters agreed that their classes have not been very challenging, especially as teachers tried to balance a wide range of student needs. One English teacher spent so much time with “English learners” that there was little time left to teach the regular curriculum to native English-speaking students.
Rahel, even as Tyee’s top graduate, had to work extremely hard to catch up academically with the other students in her first year of college. Thanks to her tenacity, she is now on track.
Highline is blessed to have these two vibrant young women as future leaders. They exemplify what can be achieved with parental involvement, a keen academic focus, and loving accountability from family and friends.