Priscilla has been selected for this award because she has been an inspiration since she first arrived to Methuen High School as a Junior just 21 months ago. Priscilla left her mother, other family members and friends, and her country in September of 2009 to come to the United States to live with her father. Priscilla’s English skills were limited at that time; she soon discovered that keeping up with the pace and vocabulary of classroom discussions was a challenge, especially her science and social studies classes. But Priscilla was an exceptionally motivated student: she realized early on that when she read ahead in her text books in her free time, she was able to understand the subject matter better, and it helped her to be able to better understand what was being talked about in class.
In the beginning, there were many words that Priscilla did not know; she wrote these down in a notebook and looked them up in the dictionary. If she didn’t understand the dictionary definition, she would ask her teachers to explain the words’ meanings to her. This became a regular practice of Priscilla’s: reading ahead in her text books; recording new words in her notebook; and researching the definitions of these words.