We Are America

Voices of the Nation's Future

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When I was living in Vietnam, I had many friends at school. I loved hanging out with them during school. One day, my family moved to the United States and I had to register for high school. I did not  know anyone, and I was very scared. Luckily, I met a girl named Laxmi in my Algebra 2 class. I don’t think I could have survived my first year at a new school without her friendship, guidance and motivation.  Laxmi was from Nepal, and she understood what it was like being a new student from a different country. It was her caring nature that led her to help me out in school. For example, one day at school, I was so sad because of an incident that happened in class. I had walked out crying. Laxmi saw me, came to comfort me, and she cried too. She cried because she was sad that I was sad. I was so touched by her empathy. I never had a friend like that in Vietnam. All my friends back in Vietnam only cared about having fun and playing, but Laxmi cared about me and my feelings.  I will forever be grateful for the kindness she showed me in school. Laxmi and I had many differences, such as cultures, languages, and foods, but we did not let that get in the way of our friendship. Laxmi and I always spent time at each other’s house. We hung out so much that I saw her as part of my family. Sometimes, my mom and dad would ask her to help them with their English, and the great thing about it was that she was always willing to help them.  Another great thing about Laxmi was her guidance. She was always will- ing to help guide me to be a better student and to improve my English. Ev- ery time she heard me speak Vietnamese in school, she encouraged me to practice my English. She knew that if I did not keep trying to speak English, it would be harder for me as I progressed in school. Also, Laxmi was always checking up on my grades and making sure I was doing all my work. I think she cared more about my grades than her own grades. I always tried to do my best on tests because I wanted her to be proud of me. I don’t know what I will do without her next year because she will be graduating. She told me that I will be fine without her, but it will be hard not having my friend next to me. She helped motivate me to be a better person.  I know that not everyone sees her like I do. I know that sometimes she can say mean things to others, but she does not do that to me. I think people do not understand Laxmi. She is a very strong person, and she will always stand up for herself. People may see that as being mean, but I see her as be- ing strong. She has taught me to be strong, to not let people be mean to me, and to stand up for myself.  I am so lucky to have an amazing friend like Laxmi. She is always there to guide me, motivate me, and be a great friend to me. After she graduates from high school, I’ll be happy for her, but at the same time, I’ll be very sad that I won’t be able to see her every day. However, I cannot wait to cheer her on as she walks across the stage in her cap and gown. I will always remain grateful toward Laxmi. She is a true friend, and I value our friendship. Our friendship gives more meaning and happiness to my life. 

© Linh Vo. 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.