Consider the Homecoming Queen. A young woman fixed in the American imagination among Friday night lights and dew-drenched corn fields. Now consider Honey. Born in Somalia before fleeing to Syria and eventually making her way to the United States with her mother and sisters, Honey is possessed of many startling attributes. Framing her stunning smile is a golden hijab – not entirely typical among Homecoming royalty in Denver. But nothing about Honey’s story is typical.
Meet Denver South High School’s 2014-15 Homecoming Queen! No one is more surprised about this fact than Honey herself. “I never imagined this would happen to me. It’s not like I’m a cheerleader. But even the cheerleaders were voting for me!” she exclaims six months after the fact, still obviously astonished by her triumph.
Nevertheless, meeting Honey is to understand why her classmates chose to honor her so. Brimming with infectious cheerfulness, Honey is found during school hours on the grounds of South High dressed in rainbow patterns and carrying a tennis racket to and from practice. She knows that some of the hardest times in her life are behind her, and that the future is filled with promise. A Denver Kids student since shortly after her arrival in the Denver Public Schools, Honey survived a year living with strangers in Syria as she awaited the apprehension of the criminal who stole her family’s travel documents, and the release of her mother from prison. Now, with the fervent support of her loving family and proud Educational Counselor, Debbie, Honey is at liberty to pursue her dreams. While she would eventually like to study to become an international business woman and entrepreneur, Honey earned a spot on the “Up with People” team, an international performance group committed to education and a message of peace.. Her immediate plans involve fundraising to maintain her position with the group and singing a whole lot as she travels the world as a musical ambassador. We honor Honey for her courage to excel and share her story with the world! Together we are stronger, one graduate at a time!
I never imagined this would happen to me. It’s not like I’m a cheerleader. But even the cheerleaders were voting for me!