It was a joyous day for many students at the Center for New Americans as they celebrated their achievements at the end of the quarter.
Over a three month period, 70 students graduated out of at least one level of English. Students and teachers celebrated with an award ceremony, food, music, and speeches.
During one impassioned speech, a student answered the question, why are students so dedicated to learning English? She shared a moving story of her first flight to the United States and how embarrassing it was to not understand anything around her at the airport. However, she says:
And here I’m after a year and 7 months and studying English. I don’t speak it correctly. I don’t write it correctly, but I feel safer to go to the clinic or the store and the airport and ask for what I need. I will continue studying English until I finish all levels and speak it correctly. I have two reasons for this…
The first because I would like to be a good example for my daughters, that they see that although I struggle to learn, I try hard and I commit myself to continue studying, so they will do the same with their studies. I believe that my example is very important even though they are adults.
The second reason why I have as a goal to speak English correctly is because I would like to work or volunteer to be a nurse’s assistant in a hospital. I have hope in my heart. I have a lot of faith that I will achieve. I believe I can learn English.
Students and teachers sing a special South Dakota version of the John Denver song “Country Roads”
The Day was fun, inspiring, and we look forward to many more successes. Make sure to catch us again soon when we share more inspiring speeches and photos from the student celebration.
Written by Heather Glidewell | LSS Center for New Americans | Adult ESL Instructor
300 East 6th Street, Suite 100 | Sioux Falls, SD 57103