A Senior Interview with Hyram Yarbro

By Markus Weinzinger

Hyram Yarbro has been at Tri-City Prep for only four years, but so much has happened within that time. Participant in the Fashion Shows and member of P.A.L., Tri-M, and humanitarian organizations, he is a solid example of a hard worker and supporter. Hyram draws his abilities from inspirational role models and from a love for serving others. He has stepped in cultural countries far and wide. His legacy is to follow your dreams and the fact that serving others yields happiness.

Q: What made you come to Tri-City?

A: After attending Heritage Middle School in Chino Valley, I decided that I wanted a quality education where I could be surrounded by people who cared about learning as much as I did. My two older brothers and sister both came to Tri-City, and I knew of the amazing teachers and opportunities available. I decided to go for it, and I’ve loved every second!

Q: How was your freshman year?

A: While I was a bit insecure in the first semester of classes (let’s be honest: all of us are insecure when we’re put in a new environment), I quickly met people that became life-long friends. From then on, my freshman year was incredible!

Q: What are your favorite classes/programs/clubs/sports at Tri-City Prep? Why?

A: In my entire high-school education, my favorite class was US History with Mrs. Schafer. Not only did she teach the material in a way we could understand, but she motivated us to change the world through our knowledge of history. She helped me reach my full potential, and I looked forward to the class every day of my sophomore year. I was also able to do Cross-Country for my first three years of high-school. While I wasn’t exactly excited for every practice, I loved the Cross-Country meets and the personal competition to beat your best score. It was a wonderful experience.

Q: Have you done anything notable outside of school?

A: I have a very busy schedule outside of school, and I am so blessed to have amazing opportunities open up to me in my life. To pick one, I am currently working with a non-profit organization that gives child-slaves an education in the Ivory Coast called WELL Africa. I was recently put in charge of a campaign to build a school in the country, and I am so excited! I will also have the opportunity to go to the Ivory Coast within the next two years, where I will be able to work hand-in-hand with the children to magnify their educational opportunities. I can’t wait to see how many kids will have the blessing of an education!

Q: Who do you look to as a role model and why?

A: One of my top role models is Immaculee Ilibagiza. Immaculee is an amazing woman that survived the Rwandan Holocaust. This was a horrific 100 day massacre of over a million innocent men, women, and children in a small country in Africa. She was able to survive by hiding in a priest’s home while people were being murdered outside of the house. Immaculee relied on her faith in God to get her through the trial, and through much praying, she was able to personally forgive the men who killed her family. She is an incredible woman that I will always look up to. Her book ‘Left to Tell’ changed my life, and I highly recommend it.

Q: Where have you gone (around the world)?

A: The past two summers, I have been able to go on two separate humanitarian trips to Fiji, Tonga, and Cape Verde, Africa. Nothing has changed my life more than these experiences. After spending time with people who had absolutely nothing, it changes you from the inside out. I have to admit, some of the hardest times of my life were in these countries. Not many people can handle holding a starving child in their arms. But if you truly seek to love and care about the people, your life is changed. And that’s exactly what happened to me. I was able to build two homes from the ground up for needy families. It was hard work, but an incredible experience. If anyone is interested in going, go to www.hefy.org for more information. Do it!

Q: Do you have special talents (perhaps ones that are not well known)?

A: I actually have a small talent in Gymnastics. I started taking private lessons when I was six years old, but it soon became a chore and I stopped. Man, I wish I didn’t do that! I began to teach myself how to do tricks, and now I absolutely love the sport. I am nowhere near pro, but I do enjoy learning new tricks now and then.

Q: Who is your favorite superhero (DC, Marvel, real)? Why?

A: Batman. Totally. He is my favorite for this reason: he does not have a power. All superheroes have to have a specific power, but Batman breaks that mold! You don’t need to have any powers! All you need to do is be rich and buff, and you are covered!

Q: If you won a million dollars, how would you spend it?

A: Honestly, I would use the money to move around the world and serve others. I would move to a third-world country, spend one-two years there serving the people, and then move to another country, and repeat for the rest of my life! I love traveling, so I wouldn’t mind constantly moving around. That would be amazing!

Q: What has been your most memorable experience at Tri-City Prep?

A: I really like the memories of the Fashion Shows. Each show has been a lot of fun, and it built up my self-esteem at times when I was not feeling so great about myself. It felt wonderful to be confident and positive. I really miss those times!

Q: What will you be doing after you graduate Tri-City Prep?

A: Well, everything is a bit up in the air right now, but I hope to go to either the University of Cape Town, South Africa or BYU Hawaii. I want to major in International Cultural Studies and Sociology, so it is important that I am surrounded by humanitarian opportunities to do in my spare time. Both of these schools sounds amazing, so it’s just a matter of which one I get into!

Q: Is there anything about yourself you would like other people to know?

My top two suggestions for everyone on Earth:

  1. If you have a dream, go for it. Don’t be swayed by other people’s opinions; work hard and stay positive, and your dream will come true!
  2. If you ever want to be completely happy, serve others. I know it sounds like a pain, but seriously! I have never been happier than when I have helped others out with their daily struggles. It doesn’t have to be big; we need more small acts of kindness! Spend your live serving others, and you will find yourself and discover the true purpose of your life.
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