SAN ANTONIO – Amina Washington was born in Nebraska to military parents and as a military child, moved from state to state on a regular basis.
“We moved around a lot. I went to Maryland and went to Arizona and then they got divorced. I moved in with my dad in Texas and I came to East Central,” Washington said.
As if starting high school didn’t already come with a number of fears and challenges, for Washington, starting freshman year was beyond daunting as the new girl at a new high school.
“So it was kind of this interesting, interesting dynamic. I didn’t really know a lot of people. And, you know, when you move from place to place, you don’t know if people are going to like you, or understand your jokes. So, I was very anxious and shy,” Washington said.
But it would be only a matter of time before Washington would learn to make East Central High School her new home.
“So, I joined ROTC my freshman year, in ninth grade. And I did not really know if I would fit in, or I didn’t know if I would be too weird for people to understand me. So, I just kind of step by myself. But then I slowly got more involved into the program,” Washington said.
And it was exactly that involvement with JROTC that would help ease the anxiety of being the new kid at a new school in a new state. The program made making friends a little easier for Amina.
“So, I felt comfortable to open up about my life and about my journey and how I got there. And it made some real friendships and some deeper connections than have had anywhere else,” Washington said.
Washington has since become captain of the JROTC’s cyber patriot team, leading the team to multiple qualifications for competition in the national level semifinals.
She has also been able to balance schoolwork along with forming part of the beta club, the writer’s guild, University Interscholastic League and the East Central Go Green Team all while maintaining a 4.0 GPA, landing her a spot as a member of the National Honor Society.
Amina Washington will head off to Prairie View A&M University in just a few weeks, where she plans to major in computer science and cybersecurity. She has plans to one day make her mark in the world working for the department of defense, either the NSA or NASA.