Scholar Spotlight: Zeinab

As her 8th-grade year comes to a close, Ward 4 scholar Zeinab is wrapping up her high school application and selection process. Higher Achievement prepares scholars to learn about, apply to, and select a high school that is the best fit for their academic and personal interests. Zeinab found the process straightforward but appreciated the additional support Higher Achievement offered. “The applications weren’t hard, but if I had a question Mr. Brandon would help us by calling or emailing the school. He had all of our interview and tour dates on a spreadsheet to keep us organized,” attests Zeinab. “We also got to do interview prep where we interviewed each other during learning blocks and also with our mentor, which was helpful. 

The transition to high school will be a new experience for Zeinab as she moves from a neighborhood middle school to a high school closer to the heart of the city. “I won’t know anyone in high school, so I’m looking forward to meeting new people and creating a bond with new teachers,” says Zeinab. “I’m also looking at the School Without Walls dual enrollment program.” The School Without Walls Exposure Program allows students to take courses at GW and earn university-level academic credits, potentially earning their AA by the time they graduate high school. “I like the diversity and the environment on the George Washington campus,” says Zeinab. 

Zeinab had her eyes set on School Without Walls since the 7th grade, but she also applied to private schools during the fall application process. In the spring, Zeinab learned that she was accepted into both of her top choices: School Without Walls and Washington International School. She is currently making her decision on where she will be enrolling for her freshman year in the fall.  

Zeinab looks forward to taking her high school biology and chemistry classes which will help prepare her for her dream to become a dermatologist. “I really like skincare and I’d like to one day have my own skincare line or my own clinic,” says Zeinab. “I like it because I’d like to help people feel more confident in their own skin.”  

Outside of school, Zeinab enjoys nature and going on walks, watching Netflix, and reading—currently Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé. She appreciates that Higher Achievement is a fun place where she can be with her friends and finish her homework. “One of the most helpful things I learned at Higher Achievement was learning self-control and not letting the temptations of other fun things get in the way of doing my schoolwork. It’s also helped me focus on my homework outside of Higher Achievement,” says Zeinab.  

This school year hasn’t been all about work for Zeinab. One of her favorite memories is taking a field trip to Whittier Elementary, where scholars got to read to the elementary students. “It was nostalgic for me because I remember when I was their age having middle school students come read to me,” recalls Zeinab. 

Higher Achievement celebrates all of our 8th-grade scholars as they transition to high school and become alumni. Congratulations, 8th-graders!