Phoenix Union High School District

Linda Abril Educational Academy

High Rising School, Linda Abril Educational Academy, has a great reputation among its students. Linda Abril Educational Academy is united and dedicated to their core values of commitment, consciousness, courage, creativity, collaboration, and compassion…and it shows!

Student Athel Al-Tamimi has received this treatment and opportunity at LAEA and wants the world to know everyone can be accepted and excel at Linda Abril Educational Academy.

The Start of an Educational Journey

In 2009, Athel Al-Tamimi received news from his father that they were leaving for Iraq to see family members he had never met before. Specifically, relatives from his father’s side. He said he understood the opportunity to get to know his family was important and decided to go.

Upon arriving in Iraq, Al-Tamimi was enrolled in 3rd grade to continue his education where he shared the challenges he encountered within his school.  “School was a lot easier in the U.S.,” he said. “Math books are like 300-500 pages long and thick, really, really thick. If you don’t memorize it you fail and you have to do it over and over again,” Al-Tamimi continued. He also explained the separation between women and men in school and how “they’re never co-ed.” 

Returning to the United States

Al-Tamimi spent two and a half years attending school in Iraq. At the start of 5th grade, he and his family returned to the United States in 2012. 

Al-Tamimi enrolled in an online K-12 school but the transition was hard on him and had a negative impact. He said bouncing back and forth between places made it difficult to get used to the school work.

“Trying to understand how everything works, the process of how teachers grade—can be pretty confusing,” he said.  “It was hard enough to catch up and understand my courses and get help from my teachers.”

Al-Tamimi also said the transition into online school made it, “pretty hard to make new friends” with other kids. “It was hard to socialize with other students because we did not know who was who without knowing their faces when we only knew their names,” he said.

This not only led Al-Tamimi to see a drop in his grades but his siblings were also experiencing the same challenges. 

“We tried going to one of the higher up schools but our grades were not high enough at the time,” he said. “But then I told my dad about this school (Linda Abril Educational Academy)—he didn’t know about it and I told him and he said ‘alright let’s go see if they’ll accept you guys. And they accepted us and we said ‘okay we will do our best.”

A New Begining

Al-Tamimi said he was quite happy that Linda Abril gave them the opportunity.

“My teachers and staff members have welcomed me and my family,” he said. “They are willing to take in students like us to boost up and move on with our lives.”

Al-Tamimi said the teachers at Linda Abril are very helpful and won’t give up on you easily. He said they can be hard on you but to him, that just shows how much they care about where you end up after graduating high school. 

Al-Tamimi said the impact his teachers created in his life has allowed him to have a positive perspective of his future.  “I have never felt so good about my grades and myself,” Al-Tamimi said. “They are good people who are friendly and I consider each and every one of them as a friend.”

Al-Tamimi sees himself graduating and pursuing a degree in Engineering at Grand Canyon University or Northern Arizona University. 

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