Maímuna, a senior at John Marshall High School in Rochester, Minnesota, is currently completing her second year of PSEO at Rochester Community and Technical College, (RCTC) . She is a member of both student governments and serves as Vice-President for RCTC. As if that was not enough to keep her busy she is in several clubs including speech, national honor society, debate, and Model U.N. just to name a few! Maímuna or Maí for short, describes herself as a diligent person who "sees things through" and "tries her best to serve her peers and her community". At 17 she as already very accomplished, and hopes to attend an Ivy League school next fall.
Mai was gracious enough to answer some questions for the blog so we can get to know her better and find out what her senior session was like.
BLOG POST QUESTIONS:
What motivates you to work hard?
My family and friends. Those who have stuck by me the most and continue to encourage me even when I feel at my lowest.
What teacher has had an impact on your life and why?
Ms. Rolfing! Back in elementary school, I was a very slow worker, as in I needed to make sure very thing was correct. She helped me with math and I absolutely love it now! I can do calculus with the snap of my fingers! She instilled confidence in me and made my experience at my school feel special. She knew I had a gift and I just needed to trust myself. I haven’t seen her since and I hope to one day reconnect with her. The look on her face once I do trig in front of her!
What is your favorite school memory?
Has to be when I auditioned for speech. I loved it. That day in particular was horrible, yet when I auditioned I felt as if I truly found myself. It felt great knowing that my judges were in awe of the information I already had in the world and were pleased with my presence. Compliments all the way!
What are your future plans once you graduate?
Going to an Ivy League is possible, yet I feel as if I want to venture towards entertainment. I love singing and one audition might change that.
What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?
“You need to believe in yourself”. I have doubted myself constantly, and when I heard this I started to have affirmations and remind myself of who I am and how I do things. Truly mindset is important.
If you could name your photo session like a catchy title to a book/movie/song, what would you title it?
“Golden”- by the one and only Harry Styles.
What advice do you have for upcoming seniors regarding their senior photo session?
Get it done early, but also feel okay with what you’re wearing. Your senior photo is who you are and by dressing down to feel “comfortable” or not to over the top and dressing up to hide the rocker t-shorts you commonly wear, you’re hiding yourself! Be true and if you love bands and have an interesting fact about yourself show it! It’s boring to conform!
If you knew someone was nervous about their senior photos, what advice would you give them?
Don’t be! Kathleen knows what she’s doing and she is an amazing person and photographer! Just be yourself and stay comfortable and work the angles!.
Did this photoshoot effectively capture who you are now?
Yes. Four years ago I couldn’t even imagine myself being this way. I am an eloquent and poised woman, and it truly captures that! How confident I have grown and the woman I have become.
Do you think this photo shoot captured well your dreams for the future?
Yes. I hope to become someone who others feel has a sense in fashion, also how graceful I am. I love speech and debate and the way I carry myself is strong in these competitions, and I look fierce just standing there.
What were your favorite images from the session and why?
Granted my family would’ve chosen more since I can’t see myself in that way! I liked these three because I felt as if they showed what I wanted for the photo shoot. I mean they all did but these stuck out to me. My family.. the whole gallery for them!
What surprised you about the experience?
How comforting Kathleen was! I wasn’t expecting someone rude, but she made me feel at home even in the cold weather! You couldn’t even tell that the wind was RAGING that day due to how warm she made me! Also one thing I was shocked about were those taking photos of me/ stopping by in awe at me. I truly never knew how I could be “stunning” to these people!
What do you love best about your locations?
The scenery of the trees and the nice quarry. The sunlight was also an aspect in this!
When you dress up to go out, what are your "go to" fashion pieces in your closet?
I try to match and make bold statements when I leave my house. One thing about me is you will ALWAYS catch me wearing jewelry! Heels or flats to match and a pop of color for my maxi skirt or hijab. I switch my hijab styles from time to time. I don’t have any go to’s since I try to make sure I wear something different everyday. I do tend to wear earrings my mother bought me as a gift as a sign of my affection towards her.
Anything else that you want to share in the blog that I didn't ask?
I just cannot wait to see myself in a couple years and live out my dreams :)