Student Spotlight: Xiomara Amaya, SIATech Los Angeles

February 17, 2012

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Interview by student Atsede Kahsay, submitted by teacher Jerald Pike

As adults, it is sometimes hard to imagine life through the lens of a youth. Now imagine life as a high school student who is also new to the United States and/or new to learning English.

English Language Learners from SIATech at Los Angeles Job Corps Center interviewed each other to discover each other's background differences and find out how life in the U.S. has changed them. The following is a write-up of one of the interviews.

Xiomara Amaya
Xiomara Amaya was born in America, but her parents came from Central America. She studies in the US. Her parents only studied until middle school because they needed to work to help their parents.

Her family was from Guatemala and El Salvador. She has five sisters. Her mother is a single mother and has been though a lot of things.

Xiomara does a lot of activities. She goes out with her family and sister. Also she goes to school. She will finish high school and she will make her mother proud.

One unusual thing that happened to Xiomara was when a dog bit her on her butt. She also feels her mother's situation is unusual. She works hard for her five children.

Xiomara feels strongly about going to school and getting a high school diploma, getting a job and helping her mother out. Xiomara feels strongly because she wants to finish high school and get a diploma because with that diploma she can get a good job and help her mother out if she needs it.

Xiomara cares about people; she especially cares about her mother, and whether everything is OK, and having to help her and her sister. If Xiomara's mother gets deported she will work hard so she can give her money to buy a home and food there. Then she will help her get papers so she can come back to the United States.

SIATech (pronounced SIGH-a-tek) is an award-winning network of charter schools focused on dropout recovery. SIATech is a WASC-accredited high school that operates in partnership with the federal Job Corps and Workforce Investment Act programs on eight campuses throughout California. The school serves 100% low-income and previously out-of-school youth. SIATech excels at identifying student strengths and individualizing instruction to meet each student's needs and goals. The school's safe and caring setting enables students to take charge of their learning and obtain the tools they need for lifetime success, whether it is at their chosen career or further education. For more information on SIATech, watch this short video or visit the SIATech website.

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