Kalkidan Abey: A Testament to Good Parenting


Kalkidan Abey

Jayden Truong, Reporter

Kalkidan Abey is a senior at Clackamas High School who’s currently top of his class in all regards. He’s sustained a 3.97 GPA throughout all of high school, is the Co-Vice President of BSU (Black Student Union), and has been accepted by multiple colleges. On the outside, Kalkidan is quite smart, thorough, and hardworking. Those are just facing values though and when digging deeper two components come up that shape who he is: drive and discipline. The reason behind these motivators is more simple as it comes down to one person in Kalkidan’s life, his mom.

As a kid Kalkidan had the same temptations as any other child, to go outside and play, but even then his mom started to set limits and expectations. Initially, his mom didn’t have any expectations for him; it was once he started his academic career that she really honed in to help him be successful. When asked what his upbringing was like he says, “Anything you could think of she did for me.” Although she was a single mom, she worked hard to maintain a home while helping Kalkidan study every night. Eventually, as he got older he began noticing the work his mom was putting in every day with him. Kalkidan says, “it showed me strength, perseverance, and integrity. Her characteristics started to rub off on me.”

It’s incredible how much a good role model does for the development of a person, especially during their younger years. It gives a person someone to look up to, seek guidance from, and trust. When asked about the influence she had on his own development, Kalkidan says this, “she built the drive and dedication to allow me to succeed.” This passion she curated is what fueled the fire of Kalkidan’s ambition to pursue high academic standards. Furthermore, he comes from an ethnic household with his mom being an immigrant from Ethiopia. 

The work his mom put in gave Kalkidan the mentality that you have to put in effort first in order to then enjoy yourself later. The higher expectations not only gave him a goal to pursue but also taught him to go into anything with the goal to be the best at it. This mindset pushed him through the hardships he faced and in the end, rewarded him with greater opportunities such as getting a 114,000 dollar scholarship to the University of Portland. He also is a prominent member in the BSU where he initially joined to meet other members like himself in the community; now he is setting up events and fundraisers to help raise more awareness for the black community expanding on what we’re taught during black history month. Now moving forward he is still deciding on a college but wants to pursue a career as a Neurologist.

Although Kalkidan has put in a lot of work on his own to accomplish the goals he set out the person who was behind him at every step was his mom. She imbued in him the motivation to pursue goals that seemed daunting, to meet her expectations, and gave him the principles to do so. Despite the disadvantages she faced it pushed her to work harder, be smarter, and expect the best out of herself: which passed on to Kalkidan. He says, “that pressure can mold you into becoming a greater version of yourself that maybe you wouldn’t be able to see if you weren’t from an ethnic household.” In the end, Kalkidan’s dream is to make his mom and family proud of what he has become; he wants to see his ambitions through and uphold his family’s name, which he surely has done.