Learning for Life

Mohamad, a refugee from Burma (now Myanmar), came to the United States alone in 2014. Since then he has worked several labor intensive jobs, gone to school and spent many hours contacting people and filling out forms trying to reunite with his family. He successfully brought his wife and two of his children to the United States.

Mohamad speaks Burmese, Malay, Hindi and some English. He is working to improve his English in order to get a better job and to better understand the world around him. He wants to learn how to make different types of foods, but he sticks to the food he has always eaten because talking to strangers makes him nervous since he is not confident in his English skills.

Mohamad has attended ESL classes but found them to move at too fast a pace for him. He became frustrated and stopped attending. Katie Rhodes, New AP’s English at Home AmeriCorps member, paired him last month with a volunteer tutor, Sam, for one-on-one English lessons. Sam is enthusiastic about spending time with Mohamad and is able to teach him at a more comfortable pace.

Sam had a 34-year career as a corporate attorney and is now focused on community service work. Sam says, “Mohamad’s determination to learn is inspiring to me. We enjoy our time together – talking, reading, shopping at Walmart and cooking lunch.”

Mohamad is grateful for New American Pathways. He says, “New American Pathways gave me a teacher (Sam) to help me improve my English, learn more about the U.S. and become a U.S. citizen. Learning is important and will help me find a better job. New American Pathways will help me and my family realize a better future.”

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