WEST PHILADELPHIA - A 15-year-old girl is being remembered for the huge presence she had at Motivation High School where she was a 10th grade scholar.
"She affected everybody she met in a positive way," said Principal Rennu Teli-Johnson about 15-year-old Embaba Mengesteabe.
Teli-Johnson is still emotional days after the beautiful and bright teen passed away.
"We were shattered. That’s the best way I can put it out. The community was shattered and very upset of her demise," said Teli-Johnson as she paused from speaking.
Embaba was in a car with her 20-year-old brother when someone fired shots into the car hitting both of them in the head. She held on for a week before she died. Her principal says in person she arrived every day to school with a smile and during digital class she was known for engaging other scholars.
"You would see Embaba having conversation with everybody. She was the light of the class," she said. Adam Davis had Embaba last period for history this year. He says she was a thinker who asked brilliant questions as a teen and had plans for her future.
"She used to talk about going to med school. That was a potential thing she talked about," he said.
Teacher and team leader Brett Oslen says Embaba was an example of doing everything right.
"Not only in terms of her abilities with the classroom but ultimately the American idealism. Here is somebody who immigrated to the United States. This is what makes America America. She did everything right, followed all the rules, worked hard, supported her family, and maintained straight A's," said Oslen.
It’s a loss the school and community are struggling to cope with.
"We just cried together. Why? Why is it happening to our young adults who want to prosper and be the leaders of the world?" said Teli-Johnson.
Embaba's brother is now out of the hospital and the shooting is still under investigation. The GoFundMe page for the family is still active. The school is planning a leadership award and scholarship in her name.
Anyone wishing to help the family financially can do so by visiting Embaba's GoFundMe page, here.
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