We Are America

Voices of the Nation's Future

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Photo ofKaleb Isaac

This story starts back in 2016 when I arrived in the United States. I think I was 10 or 12 years old at that time. There were a lot of people moving into the United States and other countries, and a lot of  stories were going around. People said that America was paradise, that when you get there you will find money waiting for you in the house. But the house they put us in smelled of smoke and it seemed as if the previous owner had a dog because there was a lot of small hair. The house was not clean.  When we came from our country we thought that we were going to start a new and better life but that is not what we got. I was kind of disappointed at myself and at what I thought my new life was going to be.       

This was the first time I ever left my country and the first time I flew in an airplane. I left all my friends behind. It made me happy and very sad at the same time. The journey seemed to be like an eternity and all the planes we flew were very big. I did not believe that such a big thing would be able to lift to the sky. Finally the last plane took us directly to our last destination. When we arrived  at the airport we found someone waiting for us.  We got into the car that took us to our hotel.  I remember  all the trees were very colorful. It was so amazing when me and my family saw that beautiful sight. We thought that American trees were just colorful just like that. 

We stayed at the hotel for a couple of months and eventually the trees we saw lost their leaves, which made me a little bit sad.  I started getting used to the environment. At the hotel I met people that came from Africa who ended up becoming my friends. We had fun playing around in the elevators, going up and down the floors. One time we went outside to play. It seemed to be warm outside, but it was cold. We played for a few hours and then this white man came to us. I really don’t remember what he said because at that time I did not know any English, so the man made a phone call. 

What happened was surprising. The man bought us not one, but two boxes  of pizza. It made me happy that a total stranger was kind enough to buy us food, so we did our best to eat this new strange food to show our appreciation. It was kind of strange that I ate that pizza without even thinking about how weird it was that someone I didn’t know bought me food. It made me happy to see there are good people no matter where you are in the world. That's when I started to think and realize that things aren’t as you always think they are. Just because someone said something, it doesn’t mean it’s always true.

© Kaleb Isaac. 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.