As Irving High School senior Sara Almosawi prepares for graduation, she reflects on her time in Irving ISD and the growth she has experienced, especially in high school. 

Raised in Irving, she attended Pierce Early Childhood School, Good and Gilbert Elementary Schools and Austin Middle School before promoting to Irving High. 

Self-described as quiet and shy, she credits her involvement in extracurriculars for helping her break out of her shell. She played the cello in the orchestra throughout middle school. Her freshman year was the COVID year, allowing her an opportunity to reset. Then in her sophomore year, she joined the JROTC program at Irving High.

“I like challenging myself, learning new skills and traveling. And I’ve been able to do all of that through JROTC,” she says. “I’ve met a lot of interesting people that if it wasn’t for the program, I wouldn’t be friends with them. I am very shy – but one of the reasons I’ve gotten better at talking to people is because of JROTC. You do these presentations, you talk to people. Because of it, I was able to become more confident.”

Her experience in the program not only helped her hone skills for life but has also provided her with invaluable opportunities and memories. 

“My sophomore year, I was scared to do anything so I wasn’t really involved,” she recalls. “After I joined the drill team, it opened so many doors of opportunities for me. I got to go to competitions and have a good time while competing. Those are my favorite memories.”

She gives kudos to her JROTC instructors – Lt. Col. Michael Curtin, Master Sgt. Bennard Miller, Sgt. Maj. Robert Lytle – and her AVID teacher, Ms. Jasmine Bardwell for providing her with guidance.

“They help point me in the right direction,” she says. “They give me their feedback, their opinions to make sure I do the right thing, and they support decisions I have made.”

While she is unsure about her graduation plans, Almosawi is considering a couple of options – enlisting in the military, enrolling in online classes to obtain her basic credits or pursuing a bachelor’s degree, possibly in aviation.

“I want to maybe become an EMS pilot. I can always have other plans, but at the moment, that’s what I’m thinking,” she says.

One thing she is sure about is the desire to serve and care for others as she has, being the oldest sister to three brothers – a junior in high school, a fourth grader and an 8-month-old.

“I am very caring. I always put people before myself,” she says. “In my career, I want to help without having to be a doctor or an engineer. That stuff doesn’t interest me. I like being on the field. I’m a very hands-on person. Sitting behind a desk isn’t for me.”

Admittedly nervous but excited for what’s to come, Almosawi reflects on the advice she says she would impart on sophomore Sara – and other incoming high school students.

“Just do it,” she says. “Focus on yourself and what makes you happy and the things that are interesting to you. You won’t regret it.”