Transcript of Sajida's Speech:
I am Sajida. I moved from Afghanistan to the United States 4 years ago. When I first got here, things were difficult. Although I had graduated from college and studied English before, I only realized how different things are in the US after I got here. I was nervous. I didn’t know how to talk to my doctor, I was afraid to talk to my child’s teachers, and I was scared to get my driver’s license. However, to succeed at what I do is the most important thing in my life, and I don’t want to be stopped by the challenges. That’s how I know learning English is important to me, as it will bring me opportunities and help me overcome difficulties.
Around one year ago, I became a student at LCNV and met my teacher, Vaishali. She is one of the kindest people I’ve known, and she really inspired me. Vaishali, and our class aide Debbie, taught me how to handle different situations, such as talking to my doctor or asking for directions at a bus stop. Even more than that, Teacher Vaishali helped us in every way possible and from her, I learned about kindness. At our End of Class Celebration, Vaishali handed me my certificate of accomplishment and said to me, “You are a great student, and you can do everything.” That moment made me feel very proud, and her words inspired me. I want to pass on the kindness she has shown all of us. Good teachers are like beacons in the dark, and they give us strength to strive. Vaishali is a good teacher, and I’m very inspired by her.
With what I learned in my English class, I got my driver’s license, I can talk to my doctor, and I feel confident helping my child with their homework. Now I am a volunteer instructor at LCNV myself- so I can further improve my English and pass on the kindness I have received by helping others just like me. I believe that a good teacher helps people to become a good person in the community, so I want to be a good teacher myself one day in the future. Thank you, teachers and LCNV, for helping me through every step of my journey. Now, I am happy, confident, and I am very proud of myself.
For every newcomer to this country that does not speak English – like me four years ago- I have three pieces of advice. First, I would tell them to learn English. Find a good place, like LCNV, and learn from the most beginning level. You will open yourself up to thousands of opportunities. Secondly, be brave – don’t let your difficulties defeat you, but seek help, and keep trying. Thirdly, pass on the kindness you receive to more people. LCNV is a place of inclusiveness and improvements, and I feel very lucky to be a part of this community.
Thank you so much for listening to my speech, and thank you, LCNV, and everyone here today, for helping me to learn.