That One Student…

Let’s call her “Dotty.”

She looks like a pretty average, stereotypical even, high school sophomore. But she’s not. She’s probably one of the most incredible young women I’ve met yet.

By age 15, this girl has seen more in her life than many can say they’ve seen in a lifetime. Especially looking at where she’s grown up, her life has been quite atypical than those of her peers.


AGE: 15
RACE: white
HAIR COLOR: dark blonde
BODY TYPE: average to thin
OTHER FEATURES: braces, pierced nosed, many other piercings in her ears including gauges.

Sounds pretty stereotypical for a suburban school in this area.

What makes Dotty atypical is her background and her personality…in addition to some other quirks and amazing characteristics.


Dotty is a remarkable writer. She has room to grow, of course, but who doesn’t? She writes from her soul. The words on the page are beyond her 15/16 years. She writes about things that her peers and colleagues have only seen on television (‘Breaking Bad’, ‘Weeds’, ‘Law & Order: SVU’, and the like). She writes about her life, her past, her parents’ struggles, and her own. The level of self-awareness she achieves through her exceptional work is advanced past the point I think I could ever be.

She is able to articulate things in such a artful way that she says it without flat-out saying it. 
She wrote about her emotional struggles, but never once said she was battling depression. The only reason I know is because she’s told me.
She wrote about her eating disorder, but wrote from the perspective of her friend to convey the fact that she just wanted to be listened to, not lectured. I would have never known if she didn’t preface my reading it with her explanations.
She wrote about growing up with her dad whose residence was described as if right out of a film. ‘Cocaine’ in her words was ‘snow’, ‘entangled in the carpet of the hallway.’ 
She wrote about her insecurities, the reason for wanting to control her weight, of all things, in a life where just about everything else is out of her control. It’s not because she’s fat, it’s because she’s scared. She, like most other teenage girls, is fearful of her own self-loathing. Something she made clear through personification of the fear, itself.

She smiles–everyday.
She laughs and chats with her peers and friends around her while in class.
She is very open to Frenchie and me when she wants us to read something. Usually that something is an extra piece of writing in which she expresses her deepest emotions and worries.
She is incredibly intelligent, incredible with words, and outrageously insightful. 

Everything Dotty does is purposeful. It’s all very logically though-out, even the illogical.
She always has a reason.


Dotty is beyond her years.
She knows what she’s doing, and she sees ways out no matter how deep she gets.


Why am I writing about Dotty?

Because she’s amazing. And in an odd way, I look up her. I aspire to be as strong as she is–not just for a 15 year old, but as a person–as a young woman in today’s world. 
Dotty’s going places. Despite her upbringing and the trouble her early life has shown her.
Dotty’s gonna make something of herself.
I can see it in her eyes. I see her determination to succeed and be amazing when she smiles.
She’s excitable and it gives me hope for her, for myself, and for the future of the country.
There are so many amazing young men and women out there like Dotty.
It just takes one compliment to spark that light behind their eyes.