Name: Palfrid Mihindou
Grade: Senior (Class of 2012)
School: Hinsdale South High School
Accomplishment: Mihindou is currently focused on playing soccer for Hinsdale South's varsity team, for which he plays attack (he also plays outside mid-right in junior varsity games). Later in the school year, Mihindou hopes to join Athletes Committed to Excellence (A.C.E.) Club, as well as the Ping-Pong Club.
Key to Awesomeness: Mihindou is from the Republic of Congo, and moved to the area with his family (including two brothers and a sister) during the second half of his sophomore year of high school. He started as a student at Hinsdale South just two weeks after his family moved, and spoke only French. Although he said the school and the language were "totally different" from what he was used to, within a month he was beginning to understand his teachers and classmates.
Mihindou has gotten accustomed to the perks at Hinsdale South that he didn't have at his previous school. "[In the Republic of Congo] you don't get a counselor; you don't have social workers to help you," he said. "You don't have a real soccer team [or] extracurricular activities."
He is keeping busy with school, where he is taking three Advanced Placement classes (calculus, biology and chemistry), in addition to piano. He is also focused on writing essays for college applications, and while Mihindou said that his senior year has been his hardest year, he's not complaining.
"I can manage. I'm getting ahead," he said. "I really enjoy being here."
What's Next: Mihindou is looking forward to attending college; some of the schools he is considering are the University of Illinois at Chicago, Truman State University, Illinois State University and Southern Illinois University. He hopes to study biology and pre-med, but isn't sure yet what kind of doctor he'd like to be. For now, though, he's enjoying his last year of high school at Hinsdale South.
"[The school] is pretty amazing," he said. "They do everything to make their students work hard and enjoy themselves. There's nothing bad I can say about Hinsdale South."