Thank you and goodbye!

At the end of the summer, the Family Learning Center said good-bye to two wonderful interns. Zaina Ibrahim volunteered in our adult English classes for six weeks this summer. She returns to the University of Washington, where she is studying political science with minors in human rights and Near Eastern studies. Erin Hallquist fulfilled her internship requirement at Delta High School by helping in our adult ESL program, as well as tutoring fellow high school students after school. Erin is beginning her freshman year at Seattle Pacific University. They both offered real help to our programs, and we are grateful to them. But we especially love their insights from this experience.

From Zaina:

Volunteering with the adult ESL classes taught by the Family Learning Center has taught me more in a month than in all my years as a student … One lesson, in particular, I’ve found myself constantly coming back to is the benefits of vulnerability. To learn new knowledge is to allow your mind to be vulnerable to new thoughts, ideas, and beliefs. Each day I join sessions, I watch a level of vulnerability in these students that I have never seen, as well as the courage that pushes that vulnerability… I have been taught that to learn is to have the vulnerability to make mistakes, to succeed, to laugh, to be frustrated, and continue forward despite that. As I try to follow their example, I constantly wonder how one can muster that much strength daily. Yet I see it with my own eyes from every incredible student. As I dread saying goodbye, the best way I can think to honor and remember these students is to embrace vulnerability in my education.

From Erin:

I wanted to work with the refugees the second I heard that the Tri-Cities was going to get several sets of Afghan families after the American withdrawal.  I was not sure how to help at first, but I eventually found the Family Learning Center… Throughout my time with the FLC, I have learned so much about language acquisition, what it means to be a refugee, and how to be an active supporter of a community. 
Some of the best stories that I have from FLC are when students would call and let their teachers know when they would be unable to come to class. While we were sad to miss them, it was always magical to hear them use their newly acquired language skills to let us know why they were gone. Touches my heart every time.