Amira Gill, a senior at Central High School in St. Paul, greets you with a beautiful smile that belies the pain and loss that has marked so much of her life. At the tender age of four, she lost her mother to breast cancer. Her father—her hero—also passed away at the end of her freshman year of high school.
Amira fell into depression, isolating herself from family and friends. Her grades slipped. She went to live with her grandmother but returned to live with her oldest brother, 19-year old Geoffrey, and her two sisters.
Family, friends, church and her writing helped Amira ease the pain and begin to heal. She feels her parents never really left. “They live on in my sisters, brother and me,” she explains. “We live our parents, we go by what they taught us and instilled in us. Their spirit and their legacy live through us.”
Despite everything that has happened to Amira, she excels in academics and participates in extracurricular and community activities. Amira is a participant in Central High School’s SHE, a women empowerment organization. She is also a member Central’s varsity basketball, volleyball, and track teams and participates in the choir and a dance group at her church.
Amira has applied to the University of Minnesota, Augsburg College, the University of St. Catherine and the University of South Florida. She plans on becoming a pediatrician or teacher. “My life,” reflects Amira, “has been full of obstacles and I am ready for the challenges to come. I am a conqueror.”