Immigrant Students Dream of Helping People

20 August, 2016

VOA Learning English talked with two students in the Nurse Aide training program at Carlos Rosario International Public Charter School.

Hasna Marmoucha is from Casablanca, Morocco. She moved to the U.S. with her husband eight years ago. She was surprised to see poor people on the street in the U.S.

"When I was in my country, we used to watch movies – American movies. When I came here, I didn't accept [that] I will see homeless... here."

Marmoucha found it hard to communicate with people in America because had not studied English in Morocco.

"I was feeling, like, shy, when I was on the street. If someone asked me a question, how am I going to answer? But then, I met a friend, and she taught me about Carlos Rosario, that it's free school, and they teach English from basic to high level. And then, I register in Carlos Rosario, and I start by level 1, and it was so nice."

Josephine Major is from Yaoundé, Cameroon. She came to the U.S. in November of 2014. She was shy when she first came to the U.S.

She was frustrated because everyone talked fast.

"I discovered everybody moved faster, speak very fast, and I felt a little bit frustrated. And then when I started coming to school, I learned how to express myself. And then I learned a little about American culture."

Major said she is learning along with her daughters.

"I'm here with my husband, we have two kids, actually, two girls, 10 and 5. My first daughter - she is in fifth grade - and she just got the principal's award, and I am so happy..."

"I help her with her homework, mathematics, and English, so I can learn the new words, and she learns also the new words from me, with my new class, nursing. So we help each other..."

From her teenage years, Major dreamed of being a nurse.

"I learned nursing - that was my dream when I was little - a teenager. I think here in the U.S. I have a good opportunity to realize my dream. I like to help, I like to share what I know with people. So I think in that field I will be comfortable - with the way I like to behave - I will feel comfortable in this field."

Hasna Marmoucha also feels that nursing will be a good match for her personality.

"I said, ‘Ok, I love to help people, and when you do something for people, and they say thank you, you feel so happy.' Why I don't do this job? I can be with a lot of people, meet people every day, help them... And then, Carlos Rosario, it's offered free! And then I started, and I started to be loving it, day by day. When we read the book, when we heard stories from our teacher, when we still like, there is a lot of things that are interesting in the job. And we're gonna be close with people. More, than sometimes, like with older people in nursing home. You're gonna be their family! You know, they will love you! And, love them. You're gonna love them too. (laughs) I feel happy when I help someone."

Both Marmoucha and Major have a large number of new words to learn. Marmoucha is glad that an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher is in her program.

"In this job, there is a lot of medical terminology. And it's hard to understand it, and it's hard to pronounce it, too. But thanks God, we have two teachers, in this program. We have one for English: she helps us in pronunciation, and another one for CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) class. Yeah, we are learning. Every day, we learn a lot of words, terminology, medical terminology, that's nice."

In the spring semester, the Nurse Aide students do internships at a local hospital.

Dr. Jill Robbins wrote this story for Learning English. Caty Weaver was the editor.


Words in This Story

shy adj. feeling nervous and uncomfortable about meeting and talking to people

frustrate ­v. to cause (someone) to feel angry, discouraged, or upset because of not being able to do something

opportunity n. an amount of time or a situation in which something can be done

comfortable adj. feeling relaxed and happy: not worried or troubled

match – n. two people or things that are suited to each other

personality– n. the set of emotional qualities, ways of behaving, etc., that makes a person different from other people

terminologyn. the special words or phrases that are used in a particular field

internship n. a sometimes unpaid temporary job held by a student or recent graduate in order to get experience

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Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Nursing Assistants and Orderlies,
on the Internet at