“Most people (there) try to get as much education as they can,” he added. However, “most of them have to support their family, and after high school, they can’t go further.”
No such danger at Somerset High School, where Cornett found out about his student’s quest for citizenship and thought that something ought to be done to honor the accomplishment. After discussing the matter with other teachers, a plot to hold a secret school assembly last Wednesday was cooked up — secret from Amarkhail, that is.
“I did not know anything about it,” said Amarkhail. “Everybody was saying, ‘We have a ceremony today.’ I started asking everybody (about it) and they weren’t talking to me. Usually they announce it and say we have a ceremony because of (a particular reason).
“When I came in, I still didn’t know,” he continued, “until I saw my parents coming out.”
Cornett offered not only words of congratulations but the gift of a brand-new American flag — “What greater gift for a new American citizen?” as the principal put it. He then offered Amarkhail his turn at the mic, and that’s when the young man found himself quite literally speechless.
“There were a lot of things that I wanted to say about the people I’ve been around for the last five or six years,” said Amarkhail. “Words cannot describe what they’ve done for me. I just wanted to thank every single one of them. I wanted to thank my family for bringing me here, because without my family, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I wouldn’t be at this school, standing here.”
A smart and studious student by Cornett’s word, Amarkhail wants to be in the medical profession, and would like to attend the University of Kentucky before going to med school. Cornett has little doubt that this American dream will come true— right here in Amarkhail’s new red, white and blue homeland.