Overcoming obstacles is something Tomorrah Leeper is familiar with. Luckily, she’s had some amazing women to help guide and inspire her along the way. Tomorrah’s grandmother, Brenda Leeper, not only gifted her with a unique name, but she’s also been her biggest inspiration. Tomorrorah (pronounced like ‘tomorrow’) was born to a teenage mother, and Leeper wanted to remind the mother to always come back for her baby, which is how she got her name. The grandmother wanted the baby’s mother to always remember to come back tomorrow.
“My grandmother is such a nice lady, and she’s always willing to help others,” says Tomorrah.
Tomorrah is an eighth grader at Lamar Middle School, and she’s overcome obstacles she experienced earlier this school year due to remote learning. Unlike previous years, she wasn’t able to have the same school experience, which she longed for.
“For me, it was hard working on the computer,” she says. “I prefer working the old-fashioned way with pencil and paper, and I missed being around other students.”
Since transferring to in-person learning, Tomorrah’s spirit and grades have improved greatly.
“I have seen a great change in her grades; she has an overcoming spirit,” says her counselor, Tennille Deming-Perkins. “She comes to school each day and puts forth great effort. I know she’ll go on to do great things after high school.”
Like her grandmother, Tomorrah credits Perkins and Lamar dean of students, April Richmond, for being positive influences at school.
“Mrs. Perkins has helped me a lot with school and mentally,” says Tomorrah. “Ms. Richmond helps me by always being positive and nice.”
With February being Black History Month, Tomorrah wants to bring awareness to another one of her inspirations, American abolitionist and political activist Harriett Tubman.
“Harriett Tubman did a lot to help other people and deserves to be acknowledged,” she says. “Even after she made it to freedom, she never forgot those she left behind and went back to help them.”
Tomorrah has been shaped by African-American women who have made it their goal to help others, which is why she plans to become a nurse. She wants to be able to help those in need, the way others have helped her.