YMCA International Services invited graduating 8th graders to participate in an award contest for which they wrote brief essays describing the obstacles they faced when they came to the U.S. Below is the story of the nine winners who are in PAIR’s programs at Jane Long and Fondren Middle Schools.
Have you ever imagined about going to the country that you have no idea about, and going to spend your whole life in that country? Well, let me tell you about the most important obstacle that I have overcome while me and my family were coming to the U.S. First, let me tell you what happened while we were coming to the U.S. While we were leaving Nepal, it was the saddest moment we ever had, because we had to leave our family and come to the U.S. In that time we were very sad. We were crying and hugging goodbye.
Coming to the U.S. was very hard for us, because no one in my family speaks English, so we had to follow resettlement agents and do what they told us to do. I never thought that it would be that hard to come to the U.S. Then, when we got here we met my uncles, aunts and my grandmother at the airport. We were happy to see our relatives, but sad to leave our other relatives back in Nepal.
When we went to school to enroll, it was very difficult, because there were many people that I have never seen before. It was really hard to talk to others in English, especially when I needed help from my teachers. It was hard for me to do my homework, classwork, etc.
Finally what I did to overcome the obstacle was I started working hard. I started to try new things that helped me to speak English. For example, I started speaking to others even if I really did not know how to. I started being confident, and started making goals. I learned how to speak English from my friends and PAIR afterschool program. Even though moving to the U.S. was difficult, because of my hard work I learned how to speak English, started getting good grades, and made a lot of new friends.
*Names have been changed to protect students’ privacy.