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Our readers write from Northwest Magnet High School, Omaha, Nebraska

School in United States /Schools in Togo
by Kossiwa

Schools in Togo are like schools in America in some ways. Both schools have students, school supplies, teachers, summer break, chairs and textbooks. Both schools are public schools, and they have students from different countries. Both schools have math and science. Both schools have students who are younger and taller. I think both schools are pretty awesome!

But schools in the U.S. are also very different than schools in Togo. In the United States we go to school and eat two meals for free. Schools start later in the U.S. than in Togo. We get transportation for free, and we get textbooks for free. The teachers teach us so we can learn faster and understand much better than in Togo. The teachers are friendlier and nicer. (My teacher told me to say that!) We meet different people from different countries. In the United States we don't wear uniforms; you can wear any clothes you want. When you go to college you have to pay more money but when you are lucky you can get a scholarship. In the United States we don't pay for high school.

In Togo, schools are much more expensive.  In Togo we paid more money for the textbooks, pencils, and backpacks. My mother paid $300 in Togo money every year for us to go to school. We also wear uniforms to go to school, and each school has a uniform for their school. I went to a public school so I wore a brown dress and a red bow around the dress. The red bow meant you attended public school. When you don't do your homework they will hit you with a long stick. It hurts, but it motivates you to learn faster! That why is harder to go to school in Togo.

I'm so glad to be in United States! Now I can read and write. I know if I believe in myself I can do anything in the U.S.!


Our readers write from the Pacoima Skills Center, Los Angeles, California

My story
by Hildiberto Gonzalez 


         Hi! My name is Hildiberto Gonzalez and I'm from Oaxaca, Mexico. I was born in a town named Loma Bonita. When I was a child I lived with my father and my stepmother. When I was 15, I helped my father and my uncle and aunt in their place of business.

         I got married in 1987. My wife's name is Yolanda. I want to tell you about my wife. She is a good woman and mother too. One year after we had gotten married, my wife had our first son. His name is Luis. He is now 23 years old.

         We moved to the USA in 1990. In 1991 I got my first job in this country. I worked for ASW Diamond Trust as a welder for a long time. October 29, 2009 was my last day at that company. I was unemployed for only five months. I was lucky because I got a new job close to my house. Also I am learning different skills. I'm working in an office. I help all the counselors when they start any parents' classes. It's only a part-time job, but it is good for me because I have time to learn English in the mornings.

My story
by Krissia Argueta


         My name is Krissia Argueta. I was born in El Salvador. Before I moved to this country I was studying engineering in a computing system for two years at the University of El Salvador. I came to this country six months ago with my parents and two sisters.

         Now we are living in Panorama City with my uncle and aunt, my cousin and my grandmother. It is a beautiful house, but I miss my own house in my country.

         One month after I came here, I started to study at Pacoima Skills Center in the ESL program. I have been looking for a job, but I haven't found one yet.

         Although I miss my country, my friends and my boyfriend every day, I know that this country has a better future for me and my family.