He's Going to Change the World

By Dhruv Rungta

When I first met Irem Eshiet I was struck by his sense of calm in the chaos of the middle school environment. He was quiet, diligent with school work and was always deep in a book. Little did I know how surprised I was going to be as I got to know him throughout the semester. Irem is a ball of fire, he has so much heart, passion and enthusiasm. He's goofy and loves to play pranks on the people around him, yet he's thoughtful and kind at the same time. He's extremely creative, both with his interest in theater through Latin Club, with fantasy books through the Battle of the Books competition and with his approach to school projects. Irem is the youngest of five brothers and his parents are immigrants of Nigerian descent. It was incredible to see how much support he had from his teachers, administrators and family. They all love Irem so much and it was really heartwarming to document over the semester. This is a story about a kid with big dreams finding out who he is through the tumultuous years that are middle school.

I feel so grateful for everyone's support throughout this project. For all the teachers who let me spend hours in their classrooms taking pictures. For Irem's family for letting me into their home and sharing their wonderful stories. For everyone in Irem's life who contributed to the interviews. And most to Irem himself for putting himself out there and being the incredible person he is. He told me on day one how he gets shy around other people and that was something he was working on. I appreciate his courage in letting me follow him around school and photograph his story. Irem was always so thoughtful, considerate and kind towards me, he truly made this project a treat. I can't wait to see all the amazing things you'll accomplish Irem! As everyone around you says, "you're going to change the world."