Senior Spotlight: Abby Kamanu

A look into the mental inventory of Abby Kamanu’s ideals and personality


A photo of Abby Kamanu in front JFKMHS.

Don Puntiel

There are many students in John F. Kennedy Memorial High School who are very unique in their own way. Though quarantine and online schooling has limited many students of showing their best selves, it is important to understand that everyone is special. Abby Kamanu is one of many who falls under this category.

Abby Kamanu is one of many who had their college applications submitted earlier than most, and has been accepted into The University of Pennsylvania on a full ride. During her free time, while others have to still apply, she has taken up reading and has found herself into current events. In terms of advice for those still searching for a college to attend, she simply says, ” Just do what you want to do.” Abby believes it is best to follow your heart and to stray away from societal norms in order to find something you can enjoy doing as a career.  Abby’s words of wisdom for those reading this is to “Just yellow brick road that” meaning to just follow the path laid out in front of you.

Abby’s likes anything that involves the color pink and Italian food, specifically pasta, and her dislikes involve wearing shoes, opting to be barefoot on grass due to her time in Kenya. Her favorite subjects are history and math, saying that “you usually like what you’re good at”. Her least favorite subject is science due to how convoluted and technical it can be.

When asked what her view on 2020 was in terms of the worst of the year, Abby stated that “the whitewashing of certain people of color, specific trends and culture, the police brutality, the radicals, the unfair treatment of people of color, and the underlying fear of complete inequality taking over America in the future are just the tip of the iceberg.”At the time of this interview, the U.S. Capitol was stormed by Republican protesters due to Trump’s loss at the election to Joe Biden. The rumors and video clips of the defense team of the Capitol being compliant with the mob and allowing them into the Capitol is something that disheartens Abby and many others. Abby believes that, “just like the Antisemitism in Germany, America has it’s own version with white people against people of color.”

Every student at John F. Kennedy Memorial High School is currently under quarantine and online schooling. Though this time can be very limiting, many people have obtained hobbies to keep themselves busy. Abby has done many activities, ranging from writing journal entries, to meditating, but has not kept to them. When asked about how her friend groups are doing during this time of physical solitude, Abby says that she is naturally still in touch with her close friends, but other people like acquaintances have been lost due to the inability to communicate with them.

Most recently, a hot debate is if people are going to get the covid vaccine. Abby states that,”If you are able to eat a chicken nugget from McDonald’s with no questions regarding the meat’s origin, then you are able to take the vaccine.” Abby is against the idea of anti-vaccination regarding the corona virus due to how urgent it is to get out of this quarantine for the betterment of ourselves, both physically and mentally, and sees the issue as a difference of selflessness and selfishness. In terms of simple safety precautions such as masks, Abby believes that people should wear them due to how easy it is and how important it is to ourselves and others, and to no longer spread the idea that the virus is not real due to how long we’ve been quarantined already.

Missed opportunities and regrets throughout this quarantine go hand and hand, and Abby is just one of many with them on her mind. She regrets her very “study hard and then celebrate” schedule because now she cannot celebrate by way of group parties or group adventures, and is instead stuck at home without much to do. If possible, Abby states that, “I would go back and simply relax more and worry less about school due to how low the bar is for getting into schools and how much I miss the fun times.”

For the underclassmen, Abby wishes for them to make better choices in friends in order to ensure that they have people they can rely on and that they can have people who make their days more enjoyable. Malak Mowafi is a close friend of Abby’s who is a perfect example of the kind of friend Abby wishes people to have; Malak has inspired Abby to be better has always had her back throughout high school in terms of school work and life outside of school. Both women are going to college in the same state, and even though Malak’s basketball games will be hours away from Abby, she will still find a way to get to them to, “see her short self make it to the big leagues”.