Congratulations to senior, Pilar Kesser, for being named "star student" by the Germantown News.
Read her interview below:
Name: Pilar Kesser
Family: I have one older sister and one younger sister, as well as my Mom and Dad. I also have three cats and one dog.
Grade and School: Senior at St. Mary's Episcopal School
Favorite Subject: Honors Art History
Who is your hero and why?: My heroes are both my adoptive parents, as well as my biological mother, Irene. I was born into an impoverished family in the central highlands of Alta Verepaz, Guatemala. Unable to read or write, my birth mother signed my adoptions papers with her thumbprint. Eight months later, my parents adopted me from Guatemala City and since then, I have lived a wonderful life in Memphis, Tennessee. For me, Irene and my parents are the reason why I have the opportunities I have now and have overtime helped me to become the "Pilar" I am today.
What career interests you and why?: As of right now, I have a dream to make life better for indigenous women in impoverished areas in Central America. Having returned to Guatemala three times, I have seen how indigenous young mothers/single women are underrepresented and mistreated in their harsh society. In terms of careers, I want to work on thinking of ideas or projects that can make life better and more equal for them.
Who inspires you the most?: Spence Reece is my inspiration because of his dedication to Our Little Roses, a small home and school for abandoned and abused girls. Located in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, Mr. Reece spent the past five years at the orphanage, teaching girls how to speak English and write poetry. Last spring, his book, "Counting Time like People Count Stars: Poems by the Girls of Little Roses," was published, serving as a global reminder to never forget about the voices that cannot be heard. One week ago from today, Mr. Reece spoke to my entire school about his journey to Honduras and the personal connections he eventually made with the girls in the orphanage. Since his speech, I have been inspired by his story to keep telling my own personal story, which in a way, is very similar to his.
If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be and why?: I would spread the word that people who look like me are sensitive and intellectual human beings capable of making a difference in everyday life. As of now, I feel that a lot of people negatively view the Hispanic population and culture as less intelligent and not hardworking. In my mind, this needs to change because no one should be viewed "as less" purely based off of the color of their skin or the country they might have immigrated from. Everyone deserves a voice and an accurate and equal representation in society.