Junior Fadwa Kamari’s move from New York was absolutely life changing


Life is a whirlwind of changes offering people countless opportunities to react both positively and negatively. A person’s true character, however, can be determined by how they respond to those challenges and how they view the world.

Leaving her long-time home of New York behind, junior Fadwa Kamari moved to Grand Rapids for her sophomore year, saying goodbye to all she ever knew. Although it was a difficult move, her positive attitude and outlook on life helped guide her to new opportunities and friendships.

“I think my move definitely has changed me,” Fadwa said. “They’ve opened me up to be friends with new people. Back in New York, I was mostly friends with only certain kinds of people who had the same interests and did the same things as me. But when I moved here, I started meeting people that weren’t exactly the same as me. I started to embrace the differences because they made for more interesting friendships.”

Fadwa easily settled into her new life after experiencing the easy-going atmosphere of Grand Rapids first hand. The warm welcome she received from the community was a bright point of her move, as it was a distinct difference from the fast-paced and detached bustle of New York.

— For Fadwa, her goal is happiness, and it took until recently to realize what future would fulfill her dreams and ultimately feed her upbeat and lively nature.

“The students here are a lot friendlier than they are in New York, especially with new kids,” Fadwa said. “New kids in New York were just not welcomed. I also feel that the students here are closer with each other and more tight-knit. Classes in New York were spread out, so you didn’t really know people in your class other than your friend group.”

School itself has played a major role in her acclimation to the area. Classes and extracurriculars like HOSA and soccer, in particular, instigated many new friendships and interests that would be beneficial in helping her to determine her future plans.

“Seeing all my friends knowing what they want to do, what classes they want to take, and knowing where those classes will take them [has motivated me to also look into my future more],” Fadwa said. “I seriously try to envision myself in different careers to see whether it’s an actual possibility that will make me happy.”

For Fadwa, her goal is happiness, and it took until recently to realize what future would fulfill her dreams and ultimately feed her upbeat and lively nature. FHC overall has been key in those decisions.

“In New York, they didn’t have any [courses] for medical-type [interests],” Fadwa said. “So, my counselors were encouraging me to go into more business classes, and because of all that, I thought that maybe business was right for me. But now that [FHC] has both options in the school, I’m finding that I’m leaning towards medical areas over business programs.”

FHC’s focus on education has made all the difference for Fadwa as she tries to discern what her future will entail.

“At my old school, you had nine classes per day; whereas here, you have six classes,” Fadwa said. “So when I moved here, I was [worried] because I couldn’t take all the classes that I wanted to. Now, I’m glad I didn’t because my schedule in New York was always a random mix of things that weren’t really related. So, [at FHC] it helps you narrow down your path for the future.”

Overall, FHC has been a great fit for Fadwa, and her move from New York has been seamless.

“I like the people [in Forest Hills],” Fadwa said. “Everyone’s just super friendly and welcoming and it stuck out to me that life’s a lot more laid back than it was in New York. In New York, everyone’s super focused on us just getting things done and moving along as soon as they can. Here, I feel like people are more easy-going and a lot less rushed.”