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Fatima Duran

Dream Big, Set Goals, Take Action 

By Aracely Duran 


Photo was taken by senior Michelle Vasquez.

Duran participating at Willowbrook High School during an invitational meet.


Fatima Duran is a current senior attending Morton East High School. She is currently taking two AP classes, such as AP Psychology and AP Statistics. Duran has maintained a high GPA throughout high school, which stands out thanks to her effort and taking zero hour for extra credits. Duran has been on the track and field varsity team since freshman year. Duran also forms part of the Dreamers and Allies club and NHS club. Outside of school, Duran likes hanging out with her family and friends. She also has a small business of strawberries covered with chocolate. She is initiating herself to enter the world of sweet treats.  


Duran pursues her dreams by challenging herself and having grand expectations. 


“I decided to take AP classes in High School because I wanted to challenge myself into academics, for the most part I have always managed to take honor classes, so I thought I was capable enough to take AP,” Duran said.  


Duran is passionate about everything she does and tries to manage her time. She stays organized and always tries to take advantage of opportunities.  


“Handling school, clubs, track, work, and personal life is tough, but always try to make time for all of those things. I prioritize school as my main focus because I know my future depends on it. Aside from academics, I am able to handle all my other activities because I have passion for what I do. I take as many opportunities I can. For example, connection time is a “me” time I either catch up on homework, socialize with my loved ones and eat,” Duran said.  


She confesses that being part of a sport has taught her to know her worth and value. Track and field have also become part of her life and are a way to relieve her stress.  


“Being an athlete has impacted my life so far by gifting me confidence, I have learned to love myself more than what I did yesterday. To always be happy with myself even if things don’t go the way I wish them. I am always busy doing something but practice and doing the sport is my getaway from all of my worries,” Duran stated.  


She also reveals that sports are a tradition passed down to her family. She says her grandfather was known to participate in many sports, as well as her siblings. This inspired her to continue this tradition.  


"My grandpa used to play basketball, and her older brother used to do track and cross country,” Duran said. 


Duran confesses that she is proud of the advance she has made as an athlete. She is beyond proud of the records she has broken.  


Duran said, “I am proud of how much improvement I have performed in my races this year; almost breaking 6 minutes in the mile is insane to me. I know I have put the work in for it, and it makes me proud to say that.” 


Apart from her athletic life, Duran talks about the best childhood memories with her family and reveals that she enjoyed playing sports with her family on the weekends after church.  


“The best memory I always carry in my heart is those summer cooks out with my family in forests preserves, I love nature and outdoors. I grew up with every weekend after church passing by a grocery store to purchase meat, fruits, and snacks to share with family! We would play volleyball, play tag, eat, and just have a good time. These memories are always going to be in my heart, I won’t forget them,” Duran said. 


She also declares that her next career steps are in the medical field and hopes to become a future doctor. In addition, Duran also wants to achieve a minor in business because she believes it's essential now that she has started a small business with sweet treats.  


“My next career steps are to major in biology and biomedical sciences, hopefully, in the future, become a lab technician or doctor. I would also want to minor or double major in business. I have taken accounting and marketing in the past, and honestly, it is so useful,” Duran said. 


Support staff from the college and career center, such as Lyndsay Legel, got close to Duran because Duran would always stop by for advice and inform herself about all the opportunities the school offers to benefit her academic future.  


“Fatima is extremely organized. I am always amazed at her organizational skills. Another special trait that stands out is that Fatima takes advantage of as many opportunities as she possibly can. There are many students who go through Morton East and don’t take advantage of the many resources available to our students. Not Fatima. She is driven and takes advantage of as many opportunities as possible. Fatima is driven and is passionate about carving out a future for herself. Wherever life takes her, she will succeed,” Legel said. 


Lesly Gonzalez is one of Duran’s friends and teammates in track. She thinks that Duran is a committed person who accomplishes everything she proposes. Gonzalez confesses that she is a supportive teammate and leader, always looking to be supportive of others.  


“One word that describes Fatima is dedicated; Fatima is the definition of hard worker who is committed to do good! She sets goals for herself to accomplish when racing and overall knows what a leader means when helping other girls to set goals and achieve them when being on the track,” Gonzalez said.  


Fatima Duran has a bright future ahead of her, full of success. She is currently focusing on picking a university that will cover all her expectations, even though many universities have already contacted & accepted her as a student to attend. They hope Duran chooses them to follow their school. Duran strives to become someone in the biomedical field. She has an extreme passion for everything she does, which will only cause her to reach the American dream. She is joyful and proud of the person she has become.