DALLAS – An inspiring tale of tenacity and ambition unfolds in Dallas as Hamersen Bekele, a student from the Independent School District (ISD), sets his sights on serving the nation which has adopted him so warmly. Having just earned his diploma from WT White High School, this resilient young man is now destined for the prestigious West Point Academy.
This extraordinary achievement gains further gravity when considering the hurdles Bekele has surmounted. A mere few years ago, he was an immigrant from Ethiopia, completely unacquainted with the English language, and had never stepped foot outside his homeland. He arrived in Dallas in the company of his American mother, thus taking his first transformative journey.
Now, as the first WT White student in over a decade accepted into West Point, Bekele is an emblem of triumph over adversity. His journey culminated in a celebration on the last day of Dallas ISD classes, as his comrades from Major Nebyou Yonas’ Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) class hailed his success.
With a slated enrollment in West Point Military Academy come July, Bekele recounts the immense “culture shock” he experienced upon his arrival in Dallas. “I had no concept of life beyond the confines of my home country,” Bekele admitted, reflecting on his early days. However, a chance meeting with Major Yonas, the school’s senior marine instructor, dramatically altered his course.
The uncanny similarities between their narratives—both immigrated from Ethiopia during their teenage years—engendered an immediate rapport. Under Yonas’ encouraging guidance, Bekele joined the ROTC, an elective at the school, which turned out to be a crucible of his transformation. “His diligent work ethic astounded me. If he received a score of 95, he’d inquire about how to attain a perfect 100,” Yonas marveled.
This hard-earned grit, coupled with his improving English proficiency, instilled Bekele with newfound confidence. Recalling the euphoric moment of his West Point acceptance, he said, “I rushed to share the exhilarating news with my mom and Major Yonas—it was a truly remarkable experience.”
Once his service is completed, Bekele aspires to wear the white coat and devote his life to healing his fellow citizens. Furthermore, he harbors dreams of returning to Ethiopia, where his father still resides, to invest in technological development. “My ultimate ambition is to contribute to my homeland, Ethiopia, by promoting technological advancements,” he declared with conviction.
Believing in Bekele’s indefatigable drive, Major Yonas affirmed, “I’m exceedingly proud, for I know his potential is boundless. His dedication is unyielding.” Despite the anticipation of his journey ahead, Bekele expressed apprehension about leaving his mother in Dallas while pursuing his dream. However, in a twist of fate, his father, who did not complete his high school education, now plans to graduate as his son concludes his tenure at West Point.