Humans of Verona: Meet Lensa Hamda
By Sarahi Garcia
This school year is one of the most difficult times to meet new people, so let me introduce to you a confident and socially active young lady, Lensa Hamda.
Lensa Hamda is a senior this year, who was born and raised in Madison, Wisconsin. She is the youngest child in her family, along with two older sisters and her mom and dad. Lensa has grown up in the Verona Area School District (VASD), from Stoner Prairie, Savannah Oaks, and lastly Verona Area High School (VAHS). Although VAHS is the last stop in the district, Lensa is planning to attend a four-year university to continue her academic career, in hope of “helping others, especially young black girls to see their greatness, and watch them grow”.
As resourceful and supporting VAHS is, it has introduced an array of clubs that allows Lensa to grow academically and socially. Clubs that have attributed to both her self growth and academic growth are the Black Student Union (BSU), Minority Student Achievement Network (MSAN), Silver Cord, Sister Supporting Sisters, Red Cross Club, and the Multicultural Leadership Council (MCLC). Lensa holds the position of Co-President of BSU and Co-Vice President of MCLC. It is clear that leadership is an attribute that Lensa has gained from VAHS, but she has also gained the skill of being prepared. As many of us have noticed, VAHS does not fail to prepare us for future career planning. Lensa saw all the preparation as beneficial for any future plans she hopes to pursue.
Although Verona has provided a lot of opportunities for Lensa, everyone is capable of contributing something to the school as well. As a black woman, Lensa strives to use her voice to work towards equity within VAHS and the Verona community in general. Something Lensa enjoyed getting to do within the district, was working with young students and becoming a role model for students of color.
Lensa recognizes that VAHS and VASD can always improve. For the future, Lensa hopes to see more diversity in teachers and clubs, so that future students can feel more comfortable and confident in their identity growing up in Verona.
If there is one thing Verona would remember Lensa by it would be through her hard work in the Multicultural Showcase. The showcase displayed the culture and diversity found at VAHS, by students and staff. It is ultimately one of the things she looks forward to every school year because each year it's a new challenge to make the showcase even better than the year before. Hopefully, we’ll still get to see one this year, even if it's virtual!
Lastly, everyone growing up is influenced by someone or something and a major influence on Lensa has been her mom. Lensa has always felt motivated by her mom to work hard in school and achieve anything she sets her mind to. She also finds the clubs she participates in as a major influence on her life, especially MSAN, BSU, and MCLC because it encourages her to use her voice to ensure that VAHS and the Verona community continue to make a change, and ensure everyone’s voice is equally heard.
Overall Lensa finds herself more comfortable and confident in her cultural identity, due to the opportunities VAHS has provided for her as a student. Lensa would also like to give a shoutout to all the BSU advisors, and to her AP teachers, who always supported her, especially now in the virtual learning environment.
One thing Lensa wants everyone to know is that “this is the time to try new things, and do what you always wanted to do because we never know when we are going to have that time again.”This final thought applies now more than ever, and if you have one take away from meeting Lensa Hamda, let this be it.