Lesley Baeza – 7th Grade, New Futures 2012 Scholarship recipient for Windsor Heights.
Lesley is very motivated to pursue a college degree after high school and has her eyes on Stanford. Being a lawyer is one of Lesley’s goals, the other is to work more directly with people in the criminal justice system.
Lesley is an important asset to our New Futures youth community. She brings a sense of stability, maturity and a lively, friendly spirit. She gets along well with everyone and her presence is missed when she is unable to make it to Program. In addition to being a friend to her peers, she is also a big support to her family.
Lesley’s Acceptance Speech
Hi I’m Lesley Baeza. I go to Chinook Middle school and I am 13 years old.
I live with my Mom and sister at the Windsor Heights apartments in SeaTac. I have lived there most of my life and started coming to New Futures when I was in first grade when my Mom signed me up for program. Since then I’ve been involved with New Futures for 4th grade and this year 7th grade. Now it’s practically my second home. Sometimes my Mom gives me a hard time for being at New Futures so often! I think New Futures got the name of ‘New Futures’ because they’re helping me have a better future. They are making a new future for the world.
School is very important to me. My goal is to someday go to college and become a lawyer. I want to go to Stanford or UW. I work very hard at school to get good grades. Right now I have a GPA of 3.8!
In school I take really fun classes like band where I play the flute. I also really love to read. For me reading acts like a transporter. It takes me into another world where I can live in someone else’s reality.
New Futures has helped me a lot with school especially when I have homework I don’t understand. The staff at New Futures are really fun and they give good advice. One piece of advice that really helped me was which classes to take next semester. Not only has New Futures helped me with school but it also has helped me develop new friendships with people my own age and with other adults besides my Mom. I feel like I have a community there. My friends encourage me when I’m stressed out and help me have fun. I also became really good friends with Marianne-the youth coordinator and Leanne-the AmeriCorps volunteer for youth program. I have felt their support everyday throughout this year. They have been very helpful with everything especially with struggles and personal problems.
At New Futures we do really fun things like swimming in the rain in West Seattle. I never knew swimming in the rain would be so fun even when it’s cold. Another one of my favorite field trips was when we went to the Kube93 haunted house. I didn’t know I could be braver than some of the high schoolers who were there!
One day I came into New Futures to get help with an essay for my English class but instead I found out that I had won a scholarship! That was a very exciting moment for me! I would like to thank New Futures for helping me, especially Leanne and Marianne who I work with the most. I always appreciate when I can stay so late to finish all my homework. I would also like to thank my Mom for being there for me and pushing me to do my best.
I don’t take the support I get for granted. I plan on continuing to do my best next year and for the years to come. I hope to make my family proud and to never give up on my dreams.
Elizabet Lopez-11th Grade, New Futures 2012 Scholarship recipient for Woodridge Park
Elizabet is vocal about her goals post high school, and she definitely displays the drive and motivation. Her career choices are Pediatrics or Nursing. Elizabet has only lived in the United States for four years, yet has made amazing strides in learning the English language and becoming familiar with young American culture. She has since blossomed and is more confident with her English, her future and life in general. Active in the community, and doing projects on how to better the education system, she is a peer leader for youth and role model for younger community members.
Elizabet’s Acceptance Speech
Once Upon a time there was a girl who moved from Jalisco, Mexico to Seattle Washington when she was 13 years old. When she heard her mom say they would move, she felt like her world would end. It was a very challenging time for her because she had to leave the country where she was born, and her family and friends. She had grown up most of the time without a dad, only seeing him 2 months out of the year. He worked in the United States. And the move she made with her mother, sister, and little brother, reunited them her father and older brother who we already established in the US. They were a normal family for the first time.
When the young girl first arrived in Seattle she spoke no English and had to attend ESL classes. Due to her persistence and hard work she now attends AP classes. She loves to write stories, play soccer, draw and listen to music. She believes that art and music are the way we express ourselves, and could not live without these forms of expression. In that same year that she moved to Seattle she discovered New Futures. She was walking with her cousin and they saw when they were building it. Her cousin asked what they were doing. When New Futures opened, they both attended the after school program because that is what their parents told them to do. But as time passed the girl realized she was not attending because that is what her mom told her but because she knew it was a great opportunity to be doing something valuable with your time. She goes to program to get help with school, and her English, but most important was that she made new friends.
She knows how hard it is to learn a new language, and wants the school to realize that ESL classes are not only classes where you learn English, but they are classes that give immigrant students the confidence that native English speakers already have. For her junior activism project she wants to teach the importance of ELL programs. She believes programs like New Futures and ESL classes are really helpful for immigrant children to learn the rich culture of America and the language. Cutting ESL programs and classes would make a big impact on the world.
She has goals of going to college and being a pediatrician or a nurse. She feels she has grown a lot as a person, since her move to Seattle, and learned about other cultures, not just American. She believes that New Futures was named this way because it is obvious that New Futures is a place where people try to help and prepare students in school because they are the future of America, children are the New Futures, the ones who will work at the big companies, and maybe make new big discoveries. New Futures means to her now, part of her life, part of the person she is now, just because of the fact, she has learned new things, some as simple as saying, please and thank you.
This girl is now standing up facing one of her fears which is talking in front of people. I want to thank New Futures. They are not only a program that gives you support, but a place to hang out, make community, but also feel like your second family. I also want to thank my family for all the support. For cheering me up, and pushing me to be a better person. I would not wish to have a better family because the family I have is better enough to say they are my family.
Pau Muan “Daniel” Kim – 11th Grade, New Futures 2010 Scholarship recipient for The Heights at Burien
Daniel is from the western part of Myanmar. He is Chin, which is an ethnic group that has been persecuted for years in what was formerly Burma. Daniel loves math and science and hopes to pursue engineering or industrial design. He loves to learn how things work and hopes to one day be an inventor. One example of his dedication to his studies and improving his language skill is a notebook that he carries with him at all times. Throughout the day he writes down words, phrases, and situations that he encounters and at the end of the day he brings the list to New Futures where we go over all of his new discoveries. Daniel has improved the literacy of all of his peers and his curiosity is inspiring to everyone.
Daniel’s Acceptance Speech
My name is Pau Muan Daniel Kim. Most people call me Daniel. I was born in Burma to a family with a mom and dad. I have 6 brothers and sisters. I am the second oldest.
I am from a small village called Ganmai. It is on the top of a mountain; it is very green and there are two rivers. When I was 10 I left my village with my sister Ciin and my cousin Lian Niu. My village is beautiful but there is no school or jobs – we moved to the city so we can study. I lived with my grandma for a year but she missed and moved back to my village. Me and my sister and my cousin lived by ourselves. I was 12. It was very hard. We had to cook and study by ourselves. I was very skinny. I missed my mother’s food.
That year my father sent me to Malaysia. Me and my sister left Burma so we could work. I thought I was going to go to school in Malaysia – but it was not like that. I worked at a restaurant. I sold rice and chicken and washed dishes.
I did not like working. I had to wake up at 6 O’clock and work every day. I was tired. And I had to learn a new language: Malay Yew.
When I was tired I missed my family. I wanted to go home and go to school and play with my friends. But I couldn’t I worked for two years. When I was 14 my father found out that my family will come to the United States. I felt excited. My father told me “You and your sisters and brother can go to school!”
It is hard to remember when I came to this country. It was like a dream. I couldn’t hear anything.
I moved to The Heights at Burien. There was another boy from Burma in my neighborhood. His name was Pen Thang. He was my first friend.
On my first day of school Peng Thang took me to my classes. Ms. Park was my first teacher and she said to me: “Hi. Nice to meet you.” After my first day of school my friend went to New Futures. I followed him. I have been coming to New Futures since I first came to America. I feel safe at New Futures. They help me with my homework. They also help me learn English.
I have a notebook and every day I write down every word that I don’t know. Every day I show Miss Rose my notebook and we act out my vocabulary words. It is better to act out words than to listen because I understand better. Lots of students at New Futures watch us and help. We all laugh a lot because it is funny. English drives me crazy but I learn more every day. New futures helps me with school but they also help my family with many things. We also have a lot of fun! We play soccer, watch movies, go snowboarding, and even learn to breakdance! I met all of my friends at New Futures.
New Futures is like my home. At 6 o’clock every day Miss Rose says “Go Home!” but I feel like I am already home.
I am so happy to win the scholarship. When they told me I won the scholarship I felt like I was flying. I felt like my future was starting. I never thought I will win anything. I will use this scholarship to go to college. I want to be an inventor. When I lived in Malaysia I used to watch planes and cars and thing I want to make those one day. I love to break things and look inside and find out how they work.
When I was young my uncle made a dam to create electricity. I watched him and then I made one for my home. I made a motor and built the dam with wood and plastic and nails and wires, It was cool because we don’t have electricity in my village and I made light for my family.
I want to learn how to make more things. I dream about inventions every night.
I want to thank my grandparents. They still live in my village and they pray for me every day. I want to thank my mom and dad for telling me to study everyday. My parents do everything for me so I can study. I also want to thank my teachers for teaching me to speak English. I want to thank New Futures for support my family. I also want to thank my friends for making me laugh when I want to cry. I also want to thank Miss Rose for helping me with my school and my life.