Mariam Gejadze smiled as her friends congratulated her for being named 2014 Pride in Port homecoming queen Saturday. It's hard to believe that only four years ago Gejadze, a senior at Paul D. Schreiber High School in Port Washington, came to the United States and could not speak English.
"I am very happy," the 17-year-old said after she was crowned. "I love it."
Gejadze was born in Georgia, a country that was formerly part of the Soviet Union. She said that when she started high school it was difficult.
"It was real hard because it was a different atmosphere," she said. "But I set a goal to be in the same classes as American students so I could learn perfect English and to be active in school like I was in Georgia."
Gejadze not only learned English, but made many friends and took part in a number of extracurricular activities, including cheerleading, track and many clubs.
"She is very courageous and she is a good student," said Brad Fitzgerald, Schreiber High School assistant principal. "She really put herself out there and was always up for a challenge."
Gejadze isn’t done challenging herself and is already mapping out plans for her future.
"I am going to study international relations or political science," she said of her college aspirations. " I want to work for the UN."