The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

The Hawkeye

The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

The Hawkeye

The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

The Hawkeye

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The Hawkeye May 2024
1st Amend Award School

Now he’s here

Not many know that senior Natu Abraham was born and raised in a small country on the East coast of the Red Sea in Africa, called Eritrea.

“I came to America when I was eight years old. When I came, in like fourth grade until like junior year, I never really shared that with anyone,” Abraham said. “I realized my senior year that people should really know who I am and what my roots are.”

Growing up, he remembers going out around 5 a.m. and running at least three miles to buy bread and milk for his family, and bringing it back to his family of four in a one room home.

Abraham and his father shared a love for soccer, watching different games on the television. When Abraham was five, his grandmother gave him his first soccer ball.

“Whenever I’m stressed, or in a bad mood, I just kick around a soccer ball.” Abraham said.

It was defining moments like those that constantly reminded Abraham to stay humble and never forget who he is or where he came from. These things motivate him to do bigger and better things for his family and home country.

“Coming to America… I never thought it would be possible,” Abraham said.

The reason I wanted to step up, be the leader, is because I wanted to be the big brother for the younger students out there.

— Natu Abraham

His family came to America only by chance when his father won a lottery visa when Abraham was eight. He said that within a year, his family had moved from Egypt to Turkey to New York and eventually Washington.

“It’s been a long ride, but [those are] my roots,” Abraham said.

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Many of the things that Abraham does at MTHS are influenced from his childhood in Eritrea.

For example, Abraham still kicks around a soccer ball on occasion with the MTHS boy’s soccer team. This past school year, Abraham and the team made history by making it to finals for the first time since the 90’s, a big leap from playing soccer recreationally as a child in Eritrea.

While Abraham doesn’t plan on playing soccer professionally, he will continue to play as the years go on.

Abraham’s outgoing personality is what paved the roads to many of the opportunities he’s gotten through MTHS.

Along with receiving opportunities, Abraham likes to make his own — which is exactly what he did in his senior year. The most prevalent example was when he was a leader in planning and executing the 2016-2017 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. assembly with the Black Student Union (BSU).

“It was really hard. [Those] two week planning [periods were] probably the most stressful weeks I ever had in my high school career,” Abraham said.

In between contacting speakers, finding flags for the march, finding volunteers and more, Abraham and the rest of BSU were able to organize a successful assembly focusing on the actions and goals of Dr. King and the future for African-American youth in the United States.

Abraham took a lead in the assembly, not just to make BSU known “for once,” but for Michael Boxley, the past advisor for BSU.

“Boxley left and I wanted to make him proud because he’s been a big aspect to BSU the past five years,” Abraham said.

BSU itself had a large impact on Abraham, mainly because of Boxley and his influence.

“It’s like an environment where I can be comfortable around my other African-American youth and I felt like I could [say] what I feel like,” he said.

Abraham and senior Amaree Green stepped up to be the leaders in BSU, as there are no particular roles in the club.

“The reason I wanted to step up, be the leader, is because I wanted to be the big brother for the younger students out there… Whatever they want to do in high school and that they should not be shy,” he said.

I just want to do it on behalf of the kids back home that [will] never have the opportunities that we have in high school.

— Natu Abraham

Abraham wants to lead the younger students by painting a better picture for African-American youth than what social media shows. He plans to show this by contributing to the school and  community by volunteering, feeding the homeless every Monday, going to elementary schools to tutor and more.

Most recently, Principal Greg Schwab called Abraham into his office and gave Abraham the opportunity to lead Washington state Governor Jay Inslee around MTHS for a day.

“It was an honor for the principal to pick me out of all the kids in the school,” he said.

Abraham further acknowledged his appreciation for Schwab.

“I think Schwab had a big influence on my senior year,” Abraham said.

He said Schwab gave him several contacts and helped Abraham network, as well as that he’ll miss Schwab when he leaves due to Schwab’s influence in his senior year.

“He was probably the best principal I had. He was always encouraging me to do better things.”

Abraham’s childhood experiences continue to influence him, giving him many different experiences throughout life.

“If there was an opportunity, I would always take it,” Abraham said, with the knowledge that he wouldn’t have been able to do many things back in his home country.

Throughout high school, Abraham participated in many school clubs, programs and activities in order to take every opportunity he’s given.

Abraham’s perspective towards school is very positive and he said he was grateful for every privilege because he wouldn’t have had them back in Eritrea.

“I just want to do it on behalf of the kids back home that [will] never have the opportunities that we have in high school to figure out what we want to do in the future,” he said.

Through taking opportunities and building off them, Abraham has been rewarded.

“I got into [the] University of Washington, I’m going to study business and communication and I want to — after a couple years — …go to Hollywood and I want to have my own TV show.”

Abraham takes the quote “Be the change that you want to see in the world” to heart, as he wants to be the change.

“I have a lot of dreams,” Abraham said, those being a manager of athletes and rappers, host his own TV show on a program like MTV and more.

But there is one that seems to follow that quote to the fullest.

“I want to go back to my native country and set a foundation there for youngsters to give them different career fairs, [so] that they don’t have to be just a doctor, teacher or join the soldiers… I want to expose the different creative ways they can live their life by,” Abraham said.

It’s more than safe to say that Abraham is excited for his future.

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About the Contributors
Sierra Clark
Sierra Clark, Graphics Editor
Sierra Clark is a senior and currently the Graphics Editor for the Hawkeye; however, she has previously held other leadership positions in order to further her knowledge in the journalism field. This year, Sierra wants to explore new branches of news media while making sure the graphics department runs smoothly and produces professional work. When not doing work for the Hawkeye, Sierra is involved in social and political activism when she's not at concerts.
Ciara Laney
Ciara Laney, Hawkeye Staff
Ciara Laney is the Photo Co-Editor for the Hawkeye. She is enduring her third year in the organization, which she joined out of her enjoyment for keeping records of moments in life. Laney's goal in the Hawkeye is to make the audience feel a sense of belongingness in the Mountlake Terrace community. Outside of Hawkeye Laney spends time with her seven siblings. She has leadership roles in TEMPO, Key Club, ASB and JV Tennis.
Josh Setala, Staff
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