Class of 2020 Senior Spotlight - Ruth Dejene

By Ruth Dejene
June 03, 2020
Ruth Dejene
Ruth Dejene

1) What has been your biggest disappointment/hardship since schools have been closed for the remainder of the academic year?

The lack of a traditional end to senior year with the special activities and graduation, as well as not being able to perform at my school’s international night and say goodbye to my classmates and teachers has been disappointing.

2) What are your plans for the fall?

I plan to attend Columbia University in New York City where I will study anthropology on a pre-law track.

3) How have your plans changed, if at all?

My plans have not changed so far, but I know that the future might not look like what I had expected. I am ready to accept the changes as they come.

4) What have you learned about yourself since the COVID-19 closures?

I have learned that I have greater flexibility to accept and adapt than I previously believed. I am normally someone who likes to make plans but when they were abruptly disrupted, I saw that it is more important to focus on the present and the issues that matter to me. I also learned that it is not ceremonies and traditions that make an experience worthwhile but rather the memories made along the way. 

5) What is your passion?

My passion is learning about and bridging cultural gaps as well as helping resolve disparities in my community. I believe that working to build understanding between different groups of people and removing inequalities within communities are necessary efforts to improve the world. 

6) Have you discovered a new passion in light of social distancing?

I have used this time to try new activities such as cooking. It's pretty fun to start learning a new skill.

7) What are your hopes for the future?

I hope that the world can learn from this situation and move forward with the mentality to improve and care for each other. I also hope that I can achieve my goals and bring my dreams helping people around the world to reality.

8) Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you?

Although I did my fair share of complaining, I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Justice High School and in FCPS, the unique experience is truly something I will cherish.

9) What are you most proud of about your school experience/best memory?

Looking back at my high school experience, I am most proud of establishing and managing a tutoring center for disadvantaged elementary school children in my community and fundraising for the Make-A-Wish Foundation®. Being able to manage my commitments and become a first-generation college student is also a personal accomplishment.