Friday, June 14, 2024

ICON-in-Class: Lasting friendship begins with ‘hello’

March 4, 2013 by  
Filed under Highlights

by Jade Bailey, Burk Horizon High School

Tamaya Nelson and Jade Bailey met three years ago at Durango High School and have been the best of friends ever since.

I have never been the sort of person who really needs friends, but I know that real friends are a treasure worth keeping. That’s because true friends are hard to come by, especially ones with good heads on their shoulders. By that, I mean people with aspirations and goals, whether they be short- or long-term.

True friends are always there. They notice when you are down, and do their best to help you get back up.
I can honestly say there are only a handful of people in my life who fit that description, and it was an honor to sit down for an interview with Tamaya Nelson, a close friend I thought I already knew so much about. In our discussion, I gained much more insight into her life, goals and perspectives on growing up as a young African-American woman.

Tamaya and I met about three years ago at Durango High School, and we knew we’d be cool from the moment I said, “Hi.” We began to hang out more and, from the get-go, I knew she was a “keeper.” We hardly knew each other, and she already had my back without being asked to lend support.

After having the best friendship while together at Durango, we lost touch. We didn’t talk as much; maybe a “hi” here or “hello” there, but nothing like it used to be. Then, out of nowhere, she hit me — literally — by greeting me with a slap on the back when we ran into each other in summer school. We were right back where we used to be, and found ourselves attending the same school in the fall.

Tamaya was born and raised in Las Vegas. Although she is a native of the city, she loves traveling to Arizona, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado and many other places. It is a pleasure to listen to her talk enthusiastically about her experiences in the various states she has visited, and it is clear that traveling means a great deal to her.

Tamaya is very intelligent, outgoing, and creative. She does well in school, and is an avid reader, writer, and problem-solver. After high school, she plans to further her education by going to a school for the culinary arts.

Life can be difficult at times for young African-American women, but Tamaya holds tight to her trademark optimism. “I feel lucky growing up in today’s world as a free African-American woman,” she says, “because even though I struggle now, it’s nothing compared to how black people used to struggle back in the day.”

Tamaya inspires me to do bigger and better things in school and in life. That’s one reason she’s really earned my respect and admiration. As members of a vocal ensemble at Burk Horizon High School, we performed together in the 2013 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parade.

I’m so happy I had the chance to meet Tamaya Nelson, and will never regret the day I said “hello.”


One Response to “ICON-in-Class: Lasting friendship begins with ‘hello’”
  1. Inell Lazard says:

    Subscribed for your blog, thanks

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