In the beginning, when I first came to America I only spoke Burmese and Tamil. I felt like I didn’t belong in Oakland. I was always lonely and I didn’t make that much friends. I didn’t speak English and I always got made fun of by people. After time passed, I started to feel more comfortable in school and started to talk to people. So much hatred was focused around me by some people. I wanted to improve myself and make them regret treating me badly.
My first goal in the beginning was to make friends but I thought it was not really possible to make friends without communication so I decided to focus on learning English. I pushed my boundaries to speak with adults and share my feelings with them using my words. In middle school, my life was a bit more complicated because of so much drama. I was more worried about what other people thought of me than what I thought about myself. I wanted to be the popular kid that every other kid in middle school wanted to be. So I stopped being curious about learning and focused more on the drama. My grades started to decrease and my parents were disappointed at me. My mom asked one of our family friend to find us a tutor and the next day our family friend came with a tutor [from Refugee Transitions] named Gareth. In the beginning, it was hard for me to understand Gareth but as he came every week I started to notice that my English was improving and I wasn’t scared to talk. My curiousness for knowledge got stronger every time Gareth came. I started to ask him a lot of questions and he answered all of them.
In seventh grade, I met an awesome teacher named Ms. S. She was an amazing teacher and she pushed me to improve. She cared for me and always helped me if I need it. Ms. S. one day gave me a book called Percy Jackson to read. I took the book and I read it. When I was done with the book I was amazed at how interesting the book was. Percy Jackson hooked me on books. After that I started to read books in my free time and I always shared my feelings about the books with her. She was an amazing teacher and she was one of the people that also changed my perspective about education.
My life was changed by these amazing people and I started to not care about popularity and cared more about learning and my future. I started to notice that I had a much higher grade than I used to. In eighth grade, I had straight 4.0 in my school. I was considered the smart kid in my class and my English was fluent. Now I’m in high school and my life is awesome!