Ashenafi Takele, Ethiopian native who came to the United State after wining a Diversity Visa (DV) Lottery, wants to forge a strong career
By Hieu Tran Phan (The San Diego Union-Tribune) |
Name: Ashenafi Takele
Native country: Ethiopia
Q: What motivated you to immigrate to the United States?
A: Growing up, I always heard about America being a special nation because it rewards you for hard work and wanting to improve yourself. Then some people I knew came to live in the U.S., and they said the same thing. So I was determined to make my way over here.
Q: What was the immigration process you undertook?
A: I was chosen by lottery. The government has a number of visas available per year in this system. It randomly picks from all the qualified people who apply to this lottery. … To qualify, you have to meet requirements like being a high school graduate and having a person in the United States who can sponsor you. My cousin, it was a cousin who sponsored me.
Q: Did you come straight to San Diego?
A: No, I went to St. Louis first.
Q: And what was that like? Was the transition easy or tough?
A: I didn’t know any English. Not a word. … I picked up the language by listening to people and copying their words. Yeah, I did it by conversation during many years of practice. It was very hard, but people in St. Louis were friendly and helpful. There are some Ethiopian immigrants in St. Louis, but it wasn’t just those people who were nice to me.
Q: How does San Diego compare to St. Louis and Ethiopia?
A: There’s an Ethiopian community here, too. So I can get my homeland food easily. But I also like American food now. … There are so many choices for you in San Diego. It’s a great urban area, and it was the same in my city back in Ethiopia. What’s different is that here, you have real political freedom and modern roads and buildings and technology. You can also go after your educational goals.
Q: Are you going to school now?
A: Not yet, but I plan to. … I’m working as a parking attendant. My goal is to create a strong career for myself. I’m interested in radiology. … My first name, Ashenafi, means “victory.” I want to succeed and make myself and my family proud.
Q: And what about your children, if you have any?
A: I don’t have kids, but I want to. I will teach them how to appreciate what this country has to offer and how they can be happy and productive Americans.
Source: The San Diego Union-Tribune
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