We spent September studying Cultural Understandings at the Center for New Americans, so I worked with my pre-GED® literacy students on a project about writing their own immigration stories. After learning about Ellis Island and listening to some profoundly moving stories of other people who are immigrants and refugees (like Tan Le’s story), my students were eager to take this task on. Below are some snippets from their stories.
Why did you come to the US?
Because of USA is one of big first world country actually it is number one and most of the people in all over the world look for it as a dreamland.
I am kind of trying to go with my luck to scout and find better life for my small family.
I come to America because of the war in my country and America is a safety place and peaceful.
The main reason for me to leave my country is good education and good future to my kids.
The reason that made to leave my home country is the civil war, and I look for safety.
What do you hope for in America?
I hope for me and my family to be good active US citizen, helping the society and my big family back home.
I hoping talk the English very well and I’m wanting to volunteer in the hospital as Nursing Assistant.
Where do you find joy in America, your new home?
The American people, they welcomed me well no matter what language I speak, my religion, my color, my education.
My greatest joy is to explore new culture, new system because I am kind of people who enjoy new things.
The greatest sources of joy was that I’m arrive in America the place that was my dream for long time.
What are you most proud of since coming to the US?
I’m proudest of so far that I have advanced in English classes and that I have been very constant and committed to my classes.
At the beginning I think I cannot do it, moving from your own country to another country different in everything is not easy, now it is more than one year passed and it look better. I think I am lucky and strong enough to do this.
Wow! In many ways the migration made me a stronger person. For me is easy to make friends in my country, always I feel safe and loved, but made friends here. White people speak different language, is very good for me. Now I’m feel safe y loved too.
My family doing great now, my kids have good schools. They are doing great in learning English, but sometimes they said that they miss friends at home.
The migration made me as a person with free thinking and I depending on myself.
We are so lucky here in Sioux Falls to have these wonderful people as our neighbors. Interested in getting to know some of our students and your neighbors better? Apply to be a classroom volunteer by checking out our Volunteer Page!
Lindy Obach | ESL Instructor
LSS Center for New Americans
300 E 6th St | Sioux Falls, SD 57103
1-866-242-2447 toll free
Strengthening Individuals, Families and Communities