“After suffering through a hard life in Iraq, Baghdad, we had finally fled to America in 2009 with my husband and two children. Being a physics teacher, I taught high school although it was a very low paying job at best.

The journey began when we had taken four flights; from Baghdad to Jordan, Germany, New Jersey and finally Dallas. When we had finally reached our destination, I had realized there was a new difficult life that we had to endure.

We came through the IRC organization. First our case worker took us from the DFW airport at 1:00 am. We were so exhausted from that long trip. We went directly to our first apartment that they had rented for us in the Harvard Square Complex on Ridgecrest Road. They had helped us a lot; teaching us about the new life here in the US because everything was different and new for us. Even how to open an account at the bank, or going to enroll my children in the school, or take them to the doctor, or how to set up an internet account, to call and talk to the companies. Everything was new and different.

The next big problem was the language. My English was very insufficient. I had to worry about how my family will survive without me getting a job. I cried for days, even too afraid to go to a grocery store and always asking my husband to assist me. Until one day, we were walking to the Fiesta grocery store, and it was a very messy snowy day, I had seen a sign that said Vickery Meadow Learning Center. I asked my husband to enroll in this seemingly friendly school. It was my first step into the new world, an English-filled one.

One of the biggest things Literacy Achieves helped me achieve was motivation and encouragement. This motivation led me to learning English and start communicating with other people.

I actually started understanding and interpreting what teachers say in my kid’s school. I even remember having surgery in 2011 without a translator. I started making friends from many different countries and I could see just how they struggled ever so similarly like me. We started sharing our culture together which made me even happier. Literacy Achieves opened up another chance. It was a chance for me to get a job as a preschool teacher. Ever since that day, I have stayed for more than 6 years. I immediately and still love this school.

Literacy Achieves also offered me a class for citizenship and they taught me America’s history and I eventually passed my test and I got my citizenship in 2015. I’m proud of myself that I am one of the members of this school.”