After growing up in Oakland, California, Kamarha Cunningham had a few reservations about moving to Oklahoma.
“To be honest, I thought it was going to be like country. I didn’t know it was going to be like a city, so I’m thinking I was going to see cowboys, horses, and haystacks because I didn’t know,” she said. "As soon as I heard that I was going to come here, I was thinking 'city girl, meets country world,’ and I did not want to come. I was so nervous.”
She landed at Central High School in the eighth grade – home of the Braves.
“I came here like, ‘I might be the outcast,’ because I didn’t know anybody, I didn’t dress like everybody, I didn’t know the slang. I was just me,” Kamarha said.
She had played basketball her whole life, but when the time came to sign up at Central, Kamarha held back.
“I played back in Oakland, and I played from elementary school until middle school, so when I moved up here, I sat out my eighth-grade year and my freshman year because I was so shy and I was so shy to join the team,” she said.
But when one door shut, Kamarha made sure to open another.
“I wanted to join the basketball team but I was really shy, so, instead, I joined student council,” she said.
There, Kamarha discovered some hidden talents.
“I like to organize, to be in groups, and to help people. I like to come up with ideas and be creative,” she said.
She also picked up some skills that will propel her through life.
“It taught me about leadership, it taught me about growth, it matured me. It made me realize that I like to be in charge,” she said. “It made me excited because I have been able to organize so many activities, I’ve planned so much stuff, and it’s like I am running my own business.”
She also joined the Spanish club and leadership central. She was the football manager and trainer and was even invited into National Honor Society.
“When I moved out here my grades even got better, like, my grades got so much better, so my eighth-grade year all the way to my senior year, I’ve been on honor roll,” Kamarha said.
During her sophomore year, Kamarha took a chance to rekindle her love for basketball.
“The first game I had butterflies," she said. "When I played at other schools I wasn’t nervous because no one knew me. But at my school, I was so nervous because everybody that went here was watching me. So, as soon as I got those jitters out of the way, I was just ready to play all games and I was just excited every time we played,” she said. "I just loved playing with all my teammates. We got along so well, like a little family.”
Kamarha is going to college for her bachelors, but that’s just a stepping stone on her journey to excellence.
“I want to go get my four years, bachelors, then I’m going to go to UCLA and go to law school for three years. After law school, I am going to become a lawyer for at least two years so I can become a judge, I want to be a criminal judge," she said.
Her goal is to protect our communities and make sure everyone has a fair and just ruling.
“I want to give them the best justice that I can. I feel like if you are accused wrongly, people just turn their head to it and don’t really give a lot of say so, but I feel like when I am in office, if I do become that, I feel like I’m going to give them the best justice that they can get,” he said.
"She is going to succeed in every goal she aims for in life," Tracy Boshers said. "And when she is a judge one of these days, I feel better about our country judicial system, I really do.”
Kamarha was also voted senior class president at Central.
“I want everyone to be happy and equal. I don’t want anyone to be singled out or bullied because they have different interests or like other things,” she said.
She hopes she taught future Braves to act like a family.
“Be involved with all the students. Don’t let one person’s reputation or what someone says about them reflect how you feel about them,” she said.
While Kamarha leaves Central with a lot of wisdom, she hopes others will learn from her ups and downs.
“Don’t skip because one day of skipping class you can come back the next day and feel like you missed a whole week of learning,” she said.
She encourages future Braves to look toward the future.
“I would tell them to sign up to Oklahoma Promise while they are in eighth grade because your sophomore year is the last time you can sign up for it,” she said.
Kamarha also said it's important to surround yourself with positive people.
“If you have friends that aren’t good for you, get rid of them now, why it’s early,” she said. "Make sure you stay with the right group. Don't go boy crazy, don't let them get in your head.
Kamarha has left a lasting impression and a positive influence at Central.
“Letting them see that she has managed to overcome obstacles to be a straight-A student and on honor society, I think she is a better role model than almost anyone we have here in school,” Tracy Boshers said.