Rather than small scholarships being awarded to many students (11-17 per semester) as in the past, this
semester fewer scholars have each received larger scholarships to support them in continuing their
education in college. All of the recipients stress that they much appreciate the moral and financial support,
and wish to thank all of those who have donated money to the scholarship fund. Below you will see the
photos and the stories that the five new scholars have shared with me. Enjoy!
– Jann Sweenie- Scholarship fundraiser and coordinator
Arriving from China with her mother in 2019, Huayu first studied at BAS, but left the Bay Area when the pandemic hit and jobs dried up. The two settled in Cody, Wyoming for a year and did housekeeping work at a hotel while Huayu took online courses at Peralta. The importance of learning English quickly and well was impressed upon her when her mother underwent emergency surgery there, resulting in a huge hospital bill which their CA Kaiser insurance did not cover, and Huayu was forced to negotiate with the hospital to try to lower the bill to a sum which they could possibly afford. (She was successful in reducing the bill by two thirds.)
Maghnia is from Algeria and speaks Berber, Arabic, and French. Her husband won the visa lottery in 2009 and came to the U.S. to
live. He went back in 2018 to Algeria, where he and Maghnia had grown up in the same village – and they married then. She joined him in the U.S. in 2019 and they now have a baby boy, born in May of last year. Maghnia studied ESL for a year at BAS, then for spring semester of 2021 transferred to BCC, where she continues taking ESL classes online. She studied computing in her country
and hopes to continue in the same field here. Rather than small scholarships being awarded to many students (11-17 per semester) as in the past, this semester fewer scholars have each received larger scholarships to support them in continuing their education in college. All of the recipients stress that they much appreciate the moral and financial support, and wish to thank all of those who have donated money to the scholarship fund. Below you will see the photos and the stories that the five new scholars have shared with me. Enjoy!
Duyen knew from an early age, as she cared for her ill grandmother, that she wanted to go abroad to better her English as well as work towards a job in a
medical field. She studied English grammar in high school, and in college would go every day to a park where foreigners gathered, to converse with them and practice speaking. In 2016 she came to NY from Vietnam as an au pair and studied on the side, and later she began independent studies at BAS. In the spring of 2020 she began to study science prerequisites at BCC for a
dental hygiene program at Chabot or Diablo Valley College, which she is applying for this semester. She begins her days at 5 a.m. with yoga, which she learned here in the U.S., and she also enjoys “outdoor stuff – camping, running, walking, and checking out new places and people.” She uses the app Urban Sitter to find babysitting jobs in S.F., where she lives.
Fatima writes: “I am from El Salvador and have lived in California since February 2020; I previously lived in Florida for ten years. During that time, my
main barrier was that I did not know how to speak English, so I decided to create my own company. I provided information technology consulting services for the public sector in Latin America. But in 2020, due to COVID-19, all projects were canceled, and I was left without a job or contracts. For that reason, I decided to move to California with the firm conviction of beginning to study English as a Second Language. I started at Berkeley Adult School in January 2021. Thank God I have had two excellent teachers. I have a BA (in Business Administration) and an MBA, both of which I got in my home country. I want to transition to accredit my degrees here in California. I am thinking of meeting with the BCC counselor to explore the possibility of studying for an Ed.D. shortly. I want to prepare candidates for academic research careers in virtual education through Artificial Intelligence (Educational Technology). As you know, technology gives us new opportunities to manage academic resilience. I am experiencing this opportunity myself, learning ESOL online.”
In the U.S. since 2018, Huan lives with her family and is studying at BCC and Merritt – an English 5 class and possibly a late-start history class this semester. While at BAS she studied in the ESL, high school, and independent studies departments, and she was a concurrent student at BAS and Peralta during fall 2021 while making the transition to college classes. She is hoping to earn a B.A., possibly in pre-nursing. For 5 years after high school in China she was a counselor with an after-school educational company there, and now she is employed as a student worker at BAS, tutoring students and supporting teachers with logistical and technical needs – in person during day classes and on Zoom with night classes.