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Senior girls welcome a new student from Jamaica during their lunch hour

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Simpson poses outside her old house with her mother and sister before their move.

Simpson poses outside her old house with her mother and sister before their move.

Simpson poses outside her old house with her mother and sister before their move.

Olivia Bertino, Editor in Chief

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Senior Alyssa Simpson snuck into the table so quietly that a few kids didn’t notice her right away. She sat down with her tray at the very end of the lunch table, squeezed between Seniors Jenny Johnson and Lauren Johnson. Simpson began talking quietly, until a few girls back heard that a new girl was eating with them. Her name spread, and so did her story.

Simpson arrived at Elkhorn South after a long childhood of moving. She was born in Jamaica, and from there moved back and forth to Florida twice, until at 17 years old she landed in Omaha for her mother, who works in medical  administration. Simpson immediately drew the attention of the group of girls in second lunch, all of whom threw around their names and advice while Simpson attempted to retain all of the information.

“I’m going to remember you by Knee Girl. So if I accidentally start calling you knee girl… yeah… I’m sorry,” Simpson said to Jenny Johnson due to her dislocated knee and brace. Simpson sat patiently while the six girls threw information about Nebraska and the school at her. She was offered trips to the movies, the zoo, and Target.

Out of all of the differences of Nebraska, the weather threw her off the most.

“I came to Nebraska; I stepped of the plane, and I was expecting some cool breeze. And I checked the temperature and it’s 90 degrees. I thought, ‘Whoa, it’s not supposed to be that hot,’” Simpson said.

She was also happily surprised at how clean the city of Omaha was, pointing out that she couldn’t see any litter, stray animals, or homeless people. Simpson said that of all the stereotypes of Nebraska, seeing the cornfields made her happy and she was ready for snow.

“I get to see snow. I was so ready [to move],” Simpson said. “That was the only thing on my mind.”

“I came here and everyone was really nice,” Simpson said.

Simpson said senior students Nala Leece and Grace Gardner helped to lead Simpson around the building. She is slowly finding her way, admitting to getting lost a few times along the way.

For the rest of the lunch hour, the group of six girls exchanged phone numbers and Snapchat usernames. Simpson’s transition has been made easier with the help of her guides and the teachers leading her through the transition.

“Everyone that I have met so far has been really, really, nice, so that’s great,” Simpson said.

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