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The Talon

A Colonial Forge News Publication

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A Colonial Forge News Publication

The Talon

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The Super Student: Misale “Gigi” Belete

Picture+taken+from+the+cforgeeagles+account+on+Instagram.+
Picture taken from the cforgeeagles account on Instagram.

Nominated and awarded the Superintendent Recognition Award last month, senior Gigi Belete is widely known around the school for her academic excellence and involvement in the community. 

“It felt really rewarding, but I was surprised when I found out because I just wasn’t expecting it. Finding out it was nomination-based also surprised me,” Gigi (’24) said.

Gigi takes part in clubs such as ASA, BSU, Multicultural Club as the vice president, Red Cross Club as the president, and DECA as the president this year. In addition to this, she is also involved in SCA as an officer, on the tennis team, and is a member of the National, Math, and Science honor societies.

“I think the key to managing everything is prioritizing. I always like to dedicate an hour each day to my extracurriculars and have the rest of the time for homework. Having an end goal, in this case, college, helps me to know what I’m working towards and keeps me focused,” Gigi said. 

Not only has this been true to her throughout high school, but she explains where this motivation to manage everything in an orderly fashion sprouted from. 

“School has always been a priority for me, so management skills have been instilled in me since I was a child. My parents played a big role in this, as they always made me do my homework ahead of time and stay on track,” Gigi explained. 

As Gigi explained, she likes to dedicate an hour each day to extracurricular and outside-of-school activities. One of these activities is an Instagram account that has gained a substantial following these last couple of months and become very familiar throughout the school. 

“I originally started it because I wanted to capture my friends and my memories of senior year and then it kind of started to spread from there. People started asking if I could take pictures of them or vice versa and once I posted them more and more people started following and reposting,” Gigi said. 

The Forge Flics Instagram account is run by Gigi.

However, the school community isn’t the only place you can find Gigi, as she volunteers quite frequently around the local community as well and has over 100 hours of community service. 

“I did the Mary Washington Junior volunteer program for two years, and in ninth grade, I started collecting books to donate to Ethiopia, which took me about two years once I finally donated them. Now I’m creating a nonprofit to provide health and sanitation products to refugees in Ethiopia,” Gigi explained. 

On a more personal note, Gigi explains why she enjoys volunteering and serving the community. 

“When I was younger, I moved here from Ethiopia. When you live there, you really get to see firsthand how much some of the people there need help and are struggling. So to me, when I was given more and experienced having more, it just made me want to give back and help those who really need it,” she said. 

Taking these experiences with her, Gigi explains how this has impacted what she wants to do with her life in the future. 

“Once I go to college, I plan on majoring in either biology or anthropology and I do want to minor in public health. My end goal is to be a cardiologist and go back to Ethiopia,” Gigi explained. 

However, once she moves back to Ethiopia she isn’t done, as she plans to establish change there. 

“I want to establish some changes in the healthcare system, so the public law can be altered. Specifically, I want to evoke a law where students are required to learn CPR in schools because it’s been a reoccurring problem where people lose their lives due to nobody knowing how to help someone experiencing cardiac arrest,” Gigi described. 

Although she has big plans for the future, Gigi focuses on enjoying the last few months of high school. 

“For me, senior year has been my favorite year of high school, as I’ve made the most new friends this year. I’ve become friends with the most unexpected people, people I’ve never spoken to at all before this year. If you told sophomore me I hang out with some of these people outside of school, I’d be scared,” Gigi jokes. 

Although she’s excited to accomplish her many goals after graduation, Gigi describes the “bittersweetness” of ending this chapter of her life. 

“This year has been flying by and while I’m excited to graduate and go to college, I’m also sad to leave behind all the memories,” Gigi concluded. 

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About the Contributor
Abby Burtner, Sports Editor
Abby Burtner is a junior and currently a staff writer for The Talon. Outside of journalism, you can find her at XC practice, doing homework, or coaching youth soccer.
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