Meet a Former ESOL Student

by Babak Ganjavian
Photo Yajaira Sosa

Yajaira Sosa was an ESOL student at Blair who graduated in 1992. She is one year away from becoming a registered nurse with a Bachelor's of Science degree. Because Yajaira comes to Blair to help in the ESOL classes every Tuesday, the Silver International staff had a chance to talk to her.

In high school, she said, "I was a good student." When she was in high school she first thought of becoming a flight attendant but later she found a job in doctor's office and decided to go into the medical field.

She found the job in a doctor's office because of a class she took at Blair called Cooperative Work Experience (CWE). In that class she got high school credit for an after school job.

After graduation from Blair, she went to Montgomery College for one semester, then she took one semester off and went to work. One year after graduation from Blair she transferred from Montgomery College to the University of the District of Columbia (UDC). She switched to UDC because she said that Montgomery College did not haveall the classes in nursing she neeeded and some of the Montgomery College credits were not transferable.

Now in college she has GPA of 3.1 and her major is nursing. She works full time and goes to school part time. Usually it takes four years to get a bachelor's degree but after almost seven years in college she is still an undergraduate student. "I take three classes each semester. That's why it took me longer than it should."

Yajaira works and pays for her tuition and never got any financial aid. "I have never applied for financial aid," she said. This was because she was working and making money to pay for her tuition.

For her, college is very different from high school. "High school is not hard compared to college," She said. "In college you cannot afford to goof-off and you really have to work hard in order to pass classes. College is hard. College is challenging. Once in college you have to study."

Yajaira had lots of friends in high school but only a few of her friends made it to college. "Out of thirty of my friends, only two went to college," she said.

She recommends that every student go to college. College means you will make more money and "education does not stop in high school," she added.

Copyright © 1999, Silver International, Montgomery Blair H.S., Silver Spring, MD USA (This page was created by BG.)