Hard times at Todd Beamer High School

One word can sum up how Todd Beamer High School senior Megan Meek will feel on the day of graduation June 8: Relieved.

Meek, 18, said that she will be relieved to be finished with high school. Relieved to never again have to navigate the crowded hallways. And relieved to no longer have to face the judgmental gaze of peers who don’t want to be her friend.

Meek is one of those students whom the popular kids call weird or a nerd, she said. But really, she’s just a nice girl who’s quiet, a bit shy and more focused on her schoolwork than the new Abercrombie and Fitch spring collection.

“Kids just think they’re better than everyone else,” Meek said. “You don’t need stereotypes to live a life. It’s not going to get you anywhere.”

During her three years at Todd Beamer, Meek hasn’t made many friends except for a few students who participate with her in the Junior ROTC, she said. Teachers have turned out to be more friendly toward her than students.

“It’s annoying... How do you make friends when people all around you are making stereotypes,” she said. “People don’t take the time to get to know you.”

Despite the difficulties, Meek made it through the drama of high school life. She’s made it through much harder times in her years.

When Meek was 10 years old, she finally reported to her church youth counselor that her father had been sexually molesting her. He went to prison and Meek spent the next several years in and out of foster care until she moved in with her maternal grandparents in Federal Way.

Meek recently found out her father will be released from prison next year — two years early for good behavior.

“I guess he knows how to work the system,” she said.

Meek tells her story in health classes at Todd Beamer because she hopes it will help someone who may have experienced similar abuses. Speaking out has also been therapeutic for her, she said.

Four days after graduation, Meek will leave Federal Way for Oklahoma, where she will stay with family before beginning classes at Oral Roberts University next fall. She plans to study psychology, and she hopes to have an easier time making friends than she did in high school.

“The people are more mature and stuff, so you’re able to talk to people normally without having to talk to them like children,” she said.

While Meek is a little bit nervous about the homework in college, she isn’t fazed by the idea of starting her life over in another state.

“You can’t stay in one place forever,” she said. “Sometimes you need to be able to move on with your life to start the next chapter.”

Contact Margo Hoffman: or (253) 925-5565.

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