Keeping your mind on your studies can be tough in normal circumstances but being able to maintain focus while experiencing a global health pandemic and remote schooling in the presence of three other siblings should be considered a superpower. Just ask Fatim Kenneh, the rising ninth grader who just completed eighth grade at Albemarle Road Middle School.
Fortunately, Fatim has her eyes on the greater prize – becoming an OBGYN. She’s so serious about her career that she has already signed up for biomedical classes for the new school year.
“I get distracted a lot when I’m home,” Fatim says. “I have three other siblings that don’t leave me alone, which can be annoying. As a result of this, my grades would go up and down; but I always end up fixing my grades,” she says.
Fatim’s Site Coordinator, Jay Watkins, says that Fatim is doing very well academically – A’s and B’s – in the IB program at Albemarle Road. “Any student who can maintain this level of grades remotely during a pandemic in the IB track, is a success to me,” said Watkins.
Watkins says he was even more impressed, however, with Fatim’s recent submission to the “Do The Write Thing” Essay Contest, sponsored each year by Mecklenburg County and CMS for middle school students. The contest focuses on a theme of youth violence and how to combat it and is an opportunity for creative expression as well as social-emotional learning.
“Fatim was the first of my students to jump on this opportunity and was committed to all the meetings and conversations leading up to the competition,” said Watkins. “Even more impressive, though, was her product. The passion and expression that went into it can be felt as you read it.” (Read Fatim’s poem further below.)
Overall, despite the difficulties encountered during the pandemic, Fatim seems to have a great attitude about school and life in general. “I feel like my mental and social health is great. I just need to be successful because I want to make my family proud. They do a lot for me, and I would just like to thank them for everything,” she says.