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Letter: A chance for a better life

By Mrs. Karen Omot’s class: Oscar, Anthony, Mario, Charles, Margarita, Pho Zaw, Julian, Wilder and Luis

We are a group of sixth-grade Beginner English Language Learners in Worthington Middle School. We are from Guatemala, Thailand, Mexico, Liberia and El Salvador.

We just read the book, “I am Malala.” It was about a girl who stood up to the Taliban to help people to go to school. She didn’t fight with guns and her hands, she fought with words. We learned from her that all people deserve a chance to have a future.

A lot of us are from El Salvador. We came here to have a good life. We ran away from the pandilleros (gangsters). Our parents don’t want us to die or be in gangs. They want us to have an education that they couldn’t get. One of our friends, called Gato, was killed by the pandilleros when he was 13 because he wouldn’t join a gang. He won’t graduate from high school.

We don’t want to bring that type of life to Worthington. Our parents want us to get diplomas, to have good plans, to go to college like USA people get to. Some people say that three people are killed by guns every hour in El Salvador. Last year in San Salvador, about 4,000 people died. That’s about 10 people each day. That’s a lot of people who won’t get an education. Some of us have left our moms, our grandparents, our brothers and sisters in our country to be able to come to the USA. That’s how important education is to us and our families. We leave bad things, but also good things.

Malala thought education could change the world. We want our worlds to change. Our world right now is Worthington. In Worthington, we want people to be able to know about our countries and why we came here. We want people to know that our parents want good things for us, just like USA people want good for their families. We want to use our words, not weapons.

Malala said, “One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.” We don’t want this place to be bad like El Salvador. Malala was shot by guns, just like some of our family members. She lived to fight with words, and so we want to fight with words too. It’s not too late to change the world. To change the way people think about immigrants. We don’t want to live in fear, we want to be brave like Malala. We want a good life for every people.

“If people were silent, nothing would change.” Malala Yousafzai