OIHS Senior Graduates Against the Odds

October 31, 2015

When nine year old Saleh Khalef was medevac-ed from Iraq to Oakland Children's hospital after mistaking a road-side bomb for a toy, returning to his studies was a far-off dream. Saleh spent several years in Oakland in and out of the hospital, facing surgery after surgery and struggling with ongoing physical challenges and medical interventions. But with the support of his family and his team of community members cheering him on, Saleh returned to school, joiningOIHS as a 9th grader four years ago. After serious physical and emotional trauma, and with a long gap in his learning, school was a challenge for Saleh, but he mustered his characteristic determination and will, working hard to access the class content, make friends, and come to school even on days when it felt too hard to do so. "I always appreciated Saleh's incredible perseverance and loved watching him grow into a thoughtful and inquisitive student," said Ryann Pollack, Saleh's former teacher at OIHS. Saleh's graduation story was profiled in the San Francisco Chronicle last Spring. Congratulations, Saleh!

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