At the age of 14, Seleehom left Ethiopia in search of a better life. Her father sent her to live with her aunt in the United States. However, her aunt soon became overwhelmed with supporting Seleehom and her cousins and needed help. She knew that Methodist Children’s Home could provide her niece with more opportunities than she would be able to and decided it was the best solution.
Not only was she in a new country, but now Seleehom (called “Sally“ by her MCH family) faced living with people she didn’t know in an unfamiliar place.
But she said the staff and girls in her new home were friendly and quickly helped her to feel at home. She became involved as the manager of the girls’ athletic teams and excelled at the MCH charter school.
“Sally is an exceptional team manager, student and young lady,” said Lindsey Fortner, athletic coordinator. “Sally has a great work ethic and is always willing to go above and beyond what is asked of her. She models the MCH Core Values every day and is a positive role model. I am confident that Sally will accomplish her goals and do great things in the future. Her wonderful personality along with her desire to be great and pursuit of excellence will take her very far.”
During her junior year, Seleehom began dual credit courses and acquired 30 hours of college credit. She graduated in May 2016 on the distinguished plan and represented her class as valedictorian. Although she is excited to leave MCH for college, she said she will miss the place she has called home for the last several years.
“I’ll definitely miss the community environment,” she said. “Living in a house with 10 girls taught me how to live with others. I’ll miss the staff. They helped me grow and had a tremendous impact on my life even though they may not realize it.”
Seleehom plans to attend the University of Texas at San Antonio in fall 2016 to major in psychology with a minor in biology. She said the MCH Transition Services staff have been by her side as she has applied for college, made housing arrangements, found scholarships, and prepared for the next stage in her life. She said she appreciates all the ongoing support she receives from MCH and is excited about a fresh start in San Antonio where she can work to fulfill her dream.
“I would love to be a pediatrician,” Seleehom said. “I love kids. I want to be a fun pediatrician so that kids want to come to me.”
Throughout her time at MCH, Seleehom grew from a shy young girl who had a hard time trusting others into a resilient, confident young lady. She was able to embrace the support and opportunities at MCH in order to reach her full potential and strive for a prosperous future.