Student Stories: High School Graduate Rises to Challenges

Student Stories: High School Graduate Rises to Challenges
Posted on 07/22/2019
This is the image for the news article titled Student Stories: High School Graduate Rises to ChallengesKeanna Osif gets things done.

The Salt River High School senior and student body president stepped up this past school year and rallied others to make the end-of-the-school-year class trip to California happen and for prom at the OdySea Aquarium to come to fruition.

Earlier this calendar year, hopes for a senior class trip looked bleak and the 2019 Prom also needed planning.

Enter Osif.

When the support wasn’t there at school, Osif found other ways. She led a fundraising charge, gathered her fellow seniors to engage and got parents involved. They hosted food and bake sales and a bingo to raise money for the senior class.

The seniors raised enough money for a multi-day May visit to Southern California, which included fun at Six Flags Magic Mountain and a stay in Calabasas. And thanks to a parent being a landowner at OdySea, this year’s prom took place among the sea life at one of Talking Stick Entertainment District’s popular attractions.

“At first, it was a struggle,” Osif said of her senior year. “We weren’t fundraising; we didn’t have the support as we should have. Parents stepped in, and I (later) took the role as student class president. We still made it through.”

In her junior year, Osif was elected student body president as a senior. The role is different than the student class president, but by the end of her senior year, Osif, to little surprise to anyone who knows her, held both roles.

Osif thanks her parents, Gwen and Derrick Osif, especially her mom, for being “the biggest help ever.” She also thanks Darla Thomas, Marie Thomas and Ashley Howard for all their help to the senior class and her “No. 2” and fellow student, Jonathan Perez.

“Thanks to all the parents that helped out. Without them I don’t think we’d have all this luxury stuff,” she said.

She encourages future high school seniors to communicate early and often with school officials, advisors and the Education Board. She said, “If you don’t communicate with any of them, you are not going to get what you need.”

Up next for Osif is Scottsdale Community College. She wants to earn a bachelor’s degree in education and become a teacher. She’s well on her way. During high school, she earned her child development certificate, which qualifies her to be an assistant teacher at the Early Childhood Education Center at Salt River Schools, where she already had an internship.

Osif played sports, including volleyball for two years and basketball in her senior year after a few years as the basketball team’s manager. In junior high, she was part of the school band and played the saxophone. She was on student council for three years and a member of the math club.

Her advice to students: “Don’t give up. You may [need to] go through all these walls, but at the end of the day, I really enjoyed my senior year. Yeah, it was difficult, but it was worth it.”

Keanna Osif

This article was written by Dalton Walker and originally printed in the June 6, 2019, issue of O'odham Action News. It is republished here with permission.

The Salt River Higher Education Program is proud to help support students like Keanna Osif reach their academic and professional dreams. For more information about financial aid, contact the Higher Education Program today at 480-362-2547 or email HigherEducation@saltriverschools.org.

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