Abu-Alrob’s Elk Grove experience ‘like a rollercoaster’


Photo courtesy of Leena Abu-Alrob

Stella Alexandropoulos, Sectional Editor

To senior Leena Abu-Alrob, high school was a lot like rollercoaster.

“[There were] some good things and some bad things, but I wouldn’t want it any other way,” Abu-Alrob said. “It feels bittersweet knowing that I’m never coming back.”

Although the high school chapter of Abu-Alrob’s life is wrapping up, her path to college is just beginning. Abu-Alrob is headed to the University of Illinois-Chicago in the fall, where she will study education and minor in psychology in hopes of becoming a teacher. 

Before Abu-Alrob takes off to UIC, she reminisces on her high school experience and the ways it has molded her into the being she is today. To pass the time at Elk Grove, she was a voracious reader, and she spent lots of time hanging out with her closest friends and family.

Oh, and she liked watching lots of Marvel movies, too.

While focusing in high school, Abu-Alrob made sure to spend time studying and managing her grades.

“My main focus in high school was to prioritize my grades but I also made sure to let loose and have fun,” she said.

There were plenty of people in her life that helped her along the way to succeed. One such person was her sister, Layan Abu-Alrob. Leena is following her sister to UIC in the fall.

“My sister is my best friend,” Leena Abu-Alrob said. “She always brings out the best side of me. I’m so excited to join her at the same college where we can spend even more time together than we already do at home.”

There’s also security guard Lamon Barry, whose presence helped encourage Abu-Alrob through her high school years.

“During her sophomore year, Leena and I grew closer,” Barry said. 

She realized she could talk to Barry about school or any other problems she was experiencing.

“Mr. Barry has helped me every day,” Abu-Alrob said. “I always describe him as a ‘school dad’ to people who don’t know him because he truly cares about students and will always be there when you need him.”

Now that Abu-Alrob’s final days at Elk Grove are right around the corner, Abu-Alrob readies herself for UIC, a college she has always dreamed of attending. She said although she’ll be leaving it all behind, she will never forget the friendships and memories she made along with being here.

“I am happy to say that I have achieved all my academic goals in high school to get to where I want to be,” Abu-Alrob said.