I Learn Library

A human library inspired by the stories in the film

Language Goals

By Claudia Lopez  |   From : Guatemala  |   School : Shawnee Mission North High School

Language Goals

Bo Jackson, a former baseball and American football player, advises us to “set your goals high and don’t stop ‘till you get there”.

Hello, my name is Claudia. I am from Guatemala. I came to the United States in December 2013 just to visit my dad. I was going to go back to Guatemala in January 2014. Between those months, something switched my mom and dad’s minds: they established that my brother and I should stay here in the United States. I did not want to stay, but I did not have any other choice. Ultimately my parents’ decision put me through challenges that taught me to fight to achieve my goals.

I started school in February 2014. It was challenging for me because I did not comprehended English. At school I used to become frustrated because my classmates and teachers would talk to me and I would not get what they were saying. I would just go to the restroom with my eyes full of tears and let out my emotions. My schoolmates would ask me, “Why don’t you speak English if you look white?” I felt like it was too much for me. I was homesick and going to school was something I did not want to do because of the language. I felt like I did not belong to the United States in general. The fearful part about this was that after 5 years without living with my dad, I was living with him and my mom went back to Guatemala. It was my brother, my dad, and me.

My family used to expect that I was not going to learn the language, which made me feel that they thought I was not intelligent enough to learn. I had to move to another school, and my new teachers and classmates were kind. Some time later is when I learned English at this new school. I am thankful to my teachers because if it was not for them helping me, I would still be lost. In fact I am a senior about to graduate now. I am proud of myself for learning the language despite my family’s original lack of confidence in me.

Now life is easier for me. However, I feel that learning a new language was laborious and it took a long time, but this was just a step to go further toward my dreams and the trek made me stronger. This means that if you fight for what you want, you will reach your goals.  We can all soak in Bo Jackson’s advice and persevere until the very end of the fight.


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