We Are America

Voices of the Nation's Future

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Photo ofBrook Mamo

Before I moved to America, I was living in my home country, Ethiopia. I was born in Ethiopia, and life there was really wonderful and easy. In Ethiopia, I had a lot of family. The schools there were really good.  One day after school, I was playing soccer with my brother when my dad told us to come sit down, and that is when our lives changed forever. He told us that we were moving to America, and both my brother and I were really excited. We both wanted to see how it felt to live in another country. Before I moved I was in seventh grade in Ethiopia. After we heard we were moving, I stopped going to school. The reason why I moved to the United States was to get a better education and to be with my cousins.  When it was time to leave, I started packing. I had to buy a lot of clothes be- cause my dad told us that it was going to be really cold in Chicago. When it was time to move, we went to the airport. When we got there, I felt like I was at a concert because it was so crowded and loud. When we were about to go through security, we said goodbye and gave each other hugs. We also took some photos for memories. After that we went through security, and we got on the airplane. When it was time for takeoff, I was really scared since I had never been on a plane before.  After a seventeen-hour plane ride, we arrived in America. When we landed, my uncle picked us up from the airport. After a forty-five minute car ride, we got to the house. We then went to our cousins’ school and surprised them. We drove to the school and waited for the bell to ring, and when it did, we introduced ourselves to each other. I had never met my cousins before. When we got home right away we started playing hide and seek and other fun games. After playing games for three hours straight, we went to sleep at ten. For the next two weeks, I was at home and basically getting homeschooled because it took a little while for me and my brother to register. After we registered, they told me I was going to six grade, which was funny be- cause I had been in seventh grade in Ethiopia. I started packing notebooks and got my clothes ready before I went to sleep, I was so excited.  On the first day of school, my uncle drove us. When I got in the school, it felt weird because there were a lot of new faces and it was a new language. I knew a little English so I understood what they were saying. When I got in the class, the students and the teachers were really nice. When we started, it was pretty fun because I liked what we were learning about.  When I got home, I told myself I had to work hard to get better grades and to get into college to prepare for a better job after college. My family moved to the United States for a better life, so I was going to work hard to achieve that. Now, four years later, I am a sophomore in high school and I understand English really well. I would say I am a pretty successful student because I have good grades in my classes. Even through it all, it is important to always work hard, especially when things get tough! 

© Brook Mamo. All rights reserved. If you are interested in quoting this story, contact the national team through this website and we can put you in touch with the young person’s teacher.