The Right Place for Me
I was going to my afternoon class at my new school. I had only been at school in America for two weeks. As I stopped by the restroom and walked through the door, I was surrounded by six or seven boys. One boy immediately punched me in the face; another grabbed me and pulled me to the ground. They repeatedly hit me; then ripped my clothes and left. I decided to go to the principal’s office because my clothes were ripped and my head was bleeding. The office called my mom and told her to bring clothes. I was sent home and didn’t return to school for three days. I couldn’t identify my attackers so they got away with their attack.
When I returned to school my attacker assaulted me again. When my teacher saw the new lump on the side of my face she sent me to the principal’s office. Fortunately, I could identify my assailants this time. Eventually I learned to stay with my friends for protection. This was my introduction to school in the America.
My name is Austine. I was born in Liberia. My life was good. I lived with my aunt and I was cared for. I had responsibilities for myself and for my younger brother. But I missed my mother who sacrificed to come to the United States to get a better education. I looked forward to coming to the United States. I wanted to get to know people from all over the world and live the American dream.
However, when I got here, it wasn’t what I had expected. The school I attended was a disaster; students did not obey their teachers or elders. In Africa we would be beaten for lesser things than what these kids were doing. My mother wouldn’t let me go to the park because she was afraid for my safety. As I mentioned I got bullied for my lunch and for just being African. Most of the teachers did not notice these incidents or felt that there was nothing they could do.
So I started to give up. I started to behave like the other kids. I decided to live like an “American” kid (at least like the ones in my neighborhood). I started skipping school, disobeying the teacher and sleeping in class. I was suspended 5 times. I was not proud of this and my mom was disappointed and worried. She met with my pastor and they talked with Pastor Mike. Soon I was in Christ Academy.
Christ Academy has made a real difference in me. I appreciate Christ Academy because I love the experiences that we share there. We have gone to see the opera. I have seen productions like “Othello” and “Carmen.” We also went camping in the Poconos where we went on a 25 mile bike trip; we’ve seen plays by William Shakespeare, and about the Canterbury tales. The best trips, however, were to visit colleges like the McDaniel College and The King’s College. I have never been on trips like these before and I can’t believe how much fun they are. I can’t believe that I’m actually looking at colleges.
I also love my teachers because they are dedicated and good. Christ Academy’s teachers give you Christian advice that motivates you to be a better Christian. The faculty also works with you to improve your attitude and your skills. They prepare us for the future; they are patient and give us their best. Mrs. Kennedy has taught me to read and analyze books and to write clearly. Deacon Kell has taught me to be a faithful man and to respect women. Mr. Carr taught me to read the gospel of John in Greek. I love learning other languages. Mr. Hoopes taught me history, math and science.
Finally, I love my classmates because they are true friends. They are fun to be around and they don’t get me in trouble. We all motivate each other to do our work and respect our elders. My classmates are honest and loyal through trials and tribulations.
I was at the bottom of the class when I started and now I have the 2nd highest average in my English class. I am in the highest math class. I am serious about being a Christian and a better student. Christ Academy is right for me. Wouldn’t you like to be a part of Christ Academy too?
*Photo credit: sofi01 via Visual hunt / CC BY-NC