Hana Abay will be ending her year at MTHS as a Hawk, leaving her legacy and spreading her wings, moving onto the next biggest step in life.
In her four years of being a Hawk, she has not only achieved many acknowledgements, but she has also been very involved in the school itself through clubs and extracurricular activities.
Abay participates in several clubs and programs at the school, such as IATRIX21, a club dedicated to advancing women in STEM, as the Head of Communications. In Eco Club, she is the Liaison Officer, a position which deals with communications between the club and other organizations. The other clubs she participates in is also Teens Against Tobacco Use, the STEM Magnet Program, Black Student Union and Key Club.
“I know that leaving this school, I have made a name for myself. I had learned that as a woman of color, you can strive in a STEM field even when all odds are against you.” Abay said.
One of Abay’s major achievements and accomplishments she has accomplished is getting first place in the Washington State Science and Engineering Fair (WSSEF), with another being having her group’s project was considered top 15 in Washington state at the WSSEF. Abay’s project was considered to attend the International Science and Engineering Fair, an invitation-only competition.
“Although we had not been chosen, even being considered was an amazing honor,” Abay said, making this one of her favorite memories as a Hawk.
Abay’s group project was based on using proteomics which is the large-scale study of proteomes, a set of proteins produced in an organism, system, or biological context to understand the effects of bleaching on the skeletal organic matrix of the coral Montipora capitata. Her project focused on studying an entire set of proteins to understand the effects of coral bleaching on the structure of Montipora capitata.
Along with placing first in the WSSEF, Abay has accumulated quite a few other achievements and accomplishments such as CTE Leadership and Achievement Award for Biotechnology, third place at CSRSEF presented by the American Chemical Society, Outstanding Achievement in Science Scholarships and Wolfram Mathematica Software Award.
“I found myself [feeling proud], that leaving this school, I [proved] that success can be accomplished no matter [who you are],” Abay said.
If Abay could go back and tell her freshman self something, she would say, “You are valid. You will come across a lot of times where you find yourself insecure in your knowledge, your looks and the way you portray yourself. Don’t let anyone diminish your worth because you are perfect just the way you are.”
There are definite ups and downs about high school which is inevitable.
“I found myself going out of my way to make sure everyone knows that they are loved and beautiful. No matter how bad things got, I made sure to start everyday with a smile and I think that has gone to make me a happier person and grateful for all the little things I have. My humble mentality made me the strong independent woman I am,” she said.
With graduation just around the corner, seniors are thinking about post-high school plans such as college or entering the workforce. Abay will be attending the University of Washington Bothell, Class of 2022. Abay has her eyes set on majoring in Environmental Science.
Graduating seniors are bound to have mixed feelings about leaving MTHS, some happy, excited or nervous. For Abay, she is more excited about what the future holds for her than being sad about leaving MTHS.
“There are amazing people here that will have a impact on my character as I leave into the ‘real’ world, but they have taught me that I am a intelligent woman and I have what it takes to be successful in life,” Abay said.
Although Abay is extremely excited to see what the future holds for her, she expresses “a little piece of [her] will always be a hawk and [she] will leave [MTHS] with amazing memories and great friends.”
Along with a high school diploma, Abay will also be obtaining an Honors STEM diploma for bioscience. When just starting the STEM program, Abay had no idea what she was going to do in the future and what her interests were.
“By going through and taking STEM courses throughout my high school career, I was able to see that biotechnology is my passion and that I would love to explore the world with a science degree,” Abay said.
Abay arrived at MTHS as a freshman not knowing what she was gonna do with her life, but as she grew throughout her high school career, she gained strength and knowledge. She’ll be leaving MTHS, leaving her legacy behind and spreading her wings moving on to the next big step in her life.Jacob Allard