2018 Featured Graduate: Auma Aliardo

2018 Featured Graduate: Auma Aliardo


I came in this country because of the
Civil War, and I thought my opportunity to pursue education was shattered when I
ran from South Sudan. I was young and I always dreamed to finish my education. So I had the opportunity to come to the United States, and went to Portland High School. I always, always dreamed to be, you know, educated high, and it was hard, you know,
as an immigrant as a second language, I went to school in Arabic, not in English
at all, so I struggled with that. I struggled in ESL but I didn’t give up, you know, so on
top of that I speak like three or four languages. I know I came as an immigrant in this country but it didn’t stop me. So I just want to accomplish my goals. There’s obstacles. Somedays, I feel like (I want) to cry but I just keep pushing. So it’s always about helping people back home if I get my education so I struggle a
little bit. So, English barrier, maybe I still
struggle but I keep reading every day, you know, pushing myself and I have my
kids. I push them as well so … Land of Opportunity. The teachers, actually, they stand by me
and they push me and they give me the opportunity, what do you call, to study if I
say, ‘Oh my god, can I do my homework later?’ and, you know, they understand my English is not my first language, you know, so they give me that chance and the
community here at USM it is very, very, very good – people working together,
teachers and students, and I never had a better experience. At USM, I feel always
welcome. Of course I would love to come
back to USM to do my under- you know get my master’s here if I can good
scholarship because I don’t want to leave the community, the community’s
already treated me well, you know, to come back to finish my school. Oh, my larger goals … United Nations. I would love to work for United Nations
just because I see the war, people you know, they step in they help in, they try
to give food they try, so I’m gonna go. I always want to give back to community
that’s why I choose the mission work so if I feel is that if I just work with
the UN and try to help those children who may need food, clothing all that, so yes, that’s my big goal. My teachers. I will want to thank my
teachers. They’re really behind me, and my mom, you know, and my community
especially my kids they understand mom has to finish school.

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