It's not enough that she's already fluent in Spanish and planning on strengthening her Arabic in college. There's no limit on how many languages Massad wants to learn.
The Paducah Tilghman High School senior has been speaking Spanish with her mom, a Spanish teacher at her school, since she was a toddler. It was within the past five years, however, that Massad became fluent. Her interest in Arabic comes from the other side of her family. Her father, who died when she was six, was Lebanese. Massad hopes to travel to Lebanon this coming summer for her senior trip. It's far from her first jaunt out of the country.
Massad has already traveled to Spain, Honduras, Dominican Republic and Mexico. She also hosted exchanged students from Mexico, Costa Rica and Colombia. For the past two summers, Massad has traveled alone to visit her former exchange student from Mexico. She's been bitten hard by the travel bug.
Once in college, Massad plans to study in Lebanon at the American University of Beirut. She will also pursue another study abroad experience in a Spanish-speaking country.
Haley Massad, daughter of Andrea English, is the Mid-Continent University Teen of the Week. Each Monday, the Sun features a different MCU Teen of the Week selected from nominees that high school guidance counselors throughout western Kentucky and southern Illinois submit to the Sun. Mid-Continent University will provide each Teen of the Week with a $2,500 annual scholarship to its university, which is renewable for four years. In the spring, a Teen of the Year will be chosen from the weekly winners and will receive a full four-year scholarship to Mid-Continent University, currently valued at up to $55,000, or a cash reward of $2,500 paid through the Paducah Sun if the student selects another college to attend.
Massad plays soccer, sings in the choir and is a member of the varsity cheerleading squad. They're all very different groups of friends, she said. It allows her to be both academically and socially well-rounded. Massad said she's always been involved in school, because it makes education more enjoyable. It also keeps her after school for practice or rehearsal almost every day of the school week. For Massad, it's worth it. The experiences with her teammates and choir members is something she'll look back on fondly throughout her life.
Though she doesn't want to be a language teacher, Massad said she is considering a career that would work with children of foreign countries. While in Honduras, Massad worked as a translator in an orphanage. She's also volunteered with local elementary schools and works in the nursery at First Presbyterian Church, where she's been a member all her life.
Massad's college picks thus far are University of Louisville, University of Kentucky or the University of Georgia. If all goes well, she'd like to double major in Spanish and Arabic and pick up music as a minor. She laughed and said she knows it will be a challenge, but continuing her language study as well as her love of music is crucial for Massad.
Massad hopes to study to become a governmental interpreter at her first choice, the University of Louisville.