Iraqi woman and war refugee graduates high school through Denver Online

Mariem Abdullatif is a survivor, and she's recently graduated from Denver Online High School.

DENVER, COLO. - She’s gotten her education, and she hasn’t forgotten where she came from.

Her name is Mariem Abdullatif. And she had quite the journey to getting her high school diploma. Abdullatif woke up to bombs in Iraq and Syria as a child. Her father was kidnapped and beaten.

She left her country behind and moved to America because her education was so important to her.
Coming to America was “the best day for me,” Abdullatif wrote in a personal narrative essay.

But her dreams of education and graduating high school were quickly shattered.

As she recounts in her essay, at her original high school she was called to see her counselor and told that she didn’t have enough credits to graduate. Abdullatif tried to work with the school, told them that “I will do my best to finish all these classes,” as she wrote. But ultimately, to no avail.

She was told by a friend, later her husband, to do her best for the time being and start at an online high school the next school year.

So she started Denver Online High School in 2016, and she graduated Thursday.

“It was just clear that she had an important perspective to share,” her English teacher, Jessica Glynn, said. Glynn called her story amazing after reading the personal narrative, which was written for the English class.

“She was able to bring me into her as a six-year-old girl waking up to her father shielding her from bombs going off," she said.

You too can read Mariem Abdullatif’s story in her own words below, in her essay that was provided to Next courtesy of Denver Online High School.

It’s still rough, and she will be working with her English teacher to edit it for smoother grammar, Denver Online spokeswoman Kaci Sintek said in an email to Next.

Abdullatif wants to continue writing her story and maybe even publish it someday, Sintek said. We’ll be waiting for it to hit bookshelves.

In the meantime, she’ll be further studying to try and become a lawyer.

 

 

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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