Last week, students in our Youth Program were asked to write short essays about the things they care about as a way to practice their writing abilities. Two of the participants, Leen and Fadi, decided to write about why they like coming to the Arab-American Family Support Center:
“One reason why I like coming to the center is because I get to help the kids with their homework. I like doing this because whenever I do, I feel better about myself when I help somebody. If someone doesn’t speak English very well and needs help with their homework I am there to translate and help them. I feel good to know that I helped somebody that needed me.
On Saturday, January 18, the center went rock climbing. I thought it was really fun because when I was scared to climb my friends encouraged me to do it. It worked because I climbed most of the walls. Another reason why I had fun was because there was a little boy and it was his first time going rock climbing, and it was really nice to see him happy and having fun. I really like going on trips. I really like going on trips with the center because I like having fun with my friends and trying new things.
Another reason why I like coming to the center is because I made new friends that are like my family. I remember when I had a new classmate in second grade, his name was Fadi. He came from Yemen and didn’t speak any English. I brought him to the center and ever since then he has been like my brother. Another way I made friends is by the Girls Club. I knew those girls for many years. Since we don’t go to the same school the only time I get to see them is in the center, and when they do come it’s fun because we all get together like a family.”
— Leen Shumman
“When I first came to America I didn’t know a single word of English. I was like a lost leaf from its tree. I was lonely and had no place to go for friends. Until my classmate Leen, who was also Arab, helped me with my English. She brought me to this place called the Arab-American Family Support Center. It was like starting a new life in a new place. I met many people there and that place became my second home and Family. I never loved a place this much. They help me with homework and we go on trips. They would always try for us to have a smile on our faces. No matter what the problem I always smile. I learned many things at the AAFSC, and the biggest thing I ever learned, was to never forget the family I have here, and mostly my sister Leen.
The one person that I knew I could go to when I needed anything was Nidal. She is like my mom, because anytime I had a problem with people she was the only one I could ever go to and feel comfortable talking to. I love her so much and I promised myself to never forget her no matter what happens.
One more thing I like about the center is the Boys Club that they have. I like it because we could talk about anything we feel good talking about. We also made a promise to ourselves in the Boys Club, that anything we talk about in that group stays in that group. I’ll never forget the fun things that our leader Jamal taught us.”
— Fadi Baidhani