Green Card Youth Voices: Local Fargo South Teens Share Their Immigration Stories
Thirty-one Fargo South students got to share their stories about coming to America and the dreams they hope to achieve in this country
FARGO, ND — It’s the stories we share that help us connect with one another and understand the world.
Dozens of current Fargo South students and graduates wrote down their immigration stories in a book and shared them at NDSU.
Moving from Egypt to the United States was no walk in the park for NDSU freshman Muhend Abakar, especially when it came to learning English.
“It’s hard to ask for help because you are surrounded by different people and your culture is different from them,” Abakar said.
That’s only one detail from his much bigger story he shares in the book “Green Card Youth Voices.”
But his story is not the only one you’ll read about.
Thirty-one Fargo South students got to share their stories about coming to America and the dreams they hope to achieve in this country.
Fargo South English Language Learner teacher, Leah Julke, assigned her students to write about their journey to America.
After reading the stories, she decided they shouldn’t just be an assignment.
“I thought ‘wow’ other people have to read these,” Julke said. “These are amazing.”
She reached out to Green Card Voices, a book series sharing immigration stories from people around the states.
Then she got a grant from Fargo Public Schools and the rest is history.
“The response from the community has been amazing,” Julke said. “People really enjoy learning about other cultures and I think that’s really important in this day and age.”
Tea Rozman Clark from Green Card Voices said people provide that response because different parts of the brain light up when they hear stories, helping them to empathize with others.
“The more sharing that can happen, the more one can see themselves in another person,” Rozman Clark said.
Abakar said it wasn’t always easy to share his story, but it’s also an opportunity he’s thankful for.
“It gets emotional because you go deeper and you talk about the past and what you went through,” Abakar said. “Not a lot of people get the chance to write a book or say ‘I wrote a book’ or ‘I’m an author.'”
We may not all be authors, but just as the 31 students show, we all have stories in the end.
Green Card Youth Voices has sold more than 1,500 copies and is available at any bookstore in Fargo, Minneapolis and on Amazon.