Remembering Carmen

Remembering Carmen

Written by Biology Teacher Kate Sneed

Carmen was an extremely dedicated student. She strived to be her best at every subject. If she missed a question, she would be the first to approach you at your desk or raise her hand. If she was studying for a test at night and she didn’t understand something, she would be emailing you and sending you a Remind message. It wasn’t because she wanted to be perfect, it was because she valued her education and understood how lucky she was to receive an education. She once asked me to look over an application for her for Youth Leadership Maury where she talked about her feelings on education. I was moved by her words: “I take my privilege to be educated very seriously. Learning and growing as a student scholar and reaching new levels of success in my educational path is a standard focus in my everyday life, and I will always keep it close to my identity.” Carmen was a life- long student. She enjoyed learning- about school subjects, about people and about life.

Carmen wasn’t just an amazing student. She had a servant’s heart. She wanted to help people- people in her school, people in her community, people in the world. In the same application as the previous quote, Carmen wrote about the most important issue facing the world today. Carmen wrote,

The most important issue I see in the world is poverty and the inability for many people to succeed in their given environment and circumstances. There are issues that so many people face, both globally and locally, that are extraordinarily substandard. Whether it be homelessness, social rejection, war, or famine, people in third-world and developing areas often have an unclimbable mountain of obstacles to face each day. The extreme disadvantages prevent many incredible people from reaching their full potential.  I strongly believe that it is our job as people who are blessed with the ability to provide for ourselves and live in abundance to help others surpass the situations that hinder them from enjoying the lifestyles that we so often take for granted.”

Carmen believed in fairness. I can’t remember how many times she said “but that’s not fair” about many different situations. She wanted fairness and she wanted justice. Even at her young age, she wasn’t afraid to fight for what she thought was right. She never wanted someone to be looked over, herself or her peers. Carmen wanted to help the those that couldn’t speak up. She wanted to be a missionary and learn cutting edge agricultural technologies so she could help communities grow and sustain their own food source.

Carmen had hair full of beautiful curls. They were so fitting of her, because she seemed to bounce everywhere she went. Carmen was a friend you wanted to have, she was encouraging, supportive, and loyal. Carmen was the student you wanted to have in your class. When she walked into my freshman class, I didn’t know how much of an impact she would have on me. When she walked into my class sophomore year, I didn’t know how much she would challenge me to be a better teacher. When she walked into my class junior year, I didn’t know how much she would inspire me. But when she didn’t walk into my class senior year, I knew what a hole she had left- in my classroom and in my heart.

Biology Teacher Kate Sneed