This month’s Where are They Now article will be following Rose Hawaree, and her journey navigating through the United States Education System as a first generation American who hardly spoke the language. Rose’s family is originally from Kurdistan, and came to the United States not knowing how to speak English. As a result, when Rose was a child, Kurdish was her first language, as she did not have anyone to teach her English until she entered the United States Education System. Until fifth grade, Rose had to partake in ESL (English as a second language) classes due to her lack of access to someone who could teach her English. School really didn’t click for Rose until she began to have a more firm grasp on the language in middle school, where she also began getting involved in the performing arts. This opened up a new world to Rose where she found an expressive outlet for herself.
Rose’s sponsorship began her junior year of High School when her college counselor recommended that she look into A Bridge for Kids. At the time, Rose had never heard of ABFK and didn’t really understand what exactly it was until she was sponsored. Rose expected the sponsorship to just be in the form of additional funds to help out with high school, but she noted that in her experience it was much more than that. Particularly her relationship with her sponsor. Rose and her sponsor hit it off immediately, and they became instant friends. Rose’s sponsor/mentor took her to tour several colleges, both in state and out of state. It was during these college tours that Rose was able to determine that UCSD was the school for her. Rose mentioned “I owe a lot of where I am today to ABFK and my sponsor. Without her support and ABFK’s resources, I would not have been able to attend UCSD for undergrad. It has given me opportunities to strengthen my academic performance, as well as build meaningful relationships. I am forever grateful.”
Rose, to this day, remains in contact with her former sponsor. Rose said, “she has been an incredible mentor as we still regularly text today and get lunch every now and then. She is now helping me find resources to help pay for grad school!” Rose is currently a CNA (certified nursing assistant), and is getting ready to attend UC Irvine for grad school. She will be starting her nursing career after graduation and is hoping to go back to school eventually to become a nurse practitioner. Rose, having had such an influential mentor in her life, was inspired to sponsor and mentor a student of her own this March – Diana Velazquez, a student at El Cajon High School!
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