African Girls in America

This blog entry is by two of our interns who worked with us as part of the WorkReady Program run by the Philadelphia Youth Network.

My name is Adunia. I am from Eritrea and I came to the United States in 2009 at the age of 11. I am a rising senior at Paul Robeson High School of Human Services. I love to interact with people but most people think I’m quiet. Back home I was always out playing games no matter how hot it is. Here, I stay inside more and listen to my music. My life in Eritrea was much more social. When I came to U.S everything was different: the people, the culture, the language. People in the USA are more diverse and more open, which means you can talk more freely. This country is more liberal, you can be gay, wear anything you want and do what you like and there is freedom of speech. I love helping others and hearing people’s thoughts. What I love the most about home is our culture. In our culture community is really important and that’s why I like it. The President of Eritrea is Isaias Afwerki; he is the reason my family fled to Shimelba, a refugee camp in Ethiopia. We were rescued by the United Nations, who brought my family to Philadelphia.

Binta and Adunia, two students from the Teva Pharmaceuticals Internship Program, pose in front of the main label for the Penn Museum's "Imagine Africa" exhibit

Binta and Adunia at the Penn Museum’s Imagine Africa exhibit.

My name is Binta. I’m also a Paul Robeson High School student. I moved to Philadelphia from Guinea in June 2013 and started school the same year. I was excited and nervous at the same time. And then an unimaginable thing happened; I was inappropriately touched at school by a boy in the lunchroom at Bartram High School. He was only suspended for a week. I was able to change to a different high school that was much better for me and made a lot of great friends who have a similar background to me. After the incident my opinion about living in America changed and I felt less positive about the move. I still miss my life in Guinea a lot and I would love to go home and visit. However, I like the diversity in this country and the sense of freedom. I’m very grateful for the opportunities I have been given.

We both been working this summer as Work Ready interns at the Mütter Museum. We are planning an after-school club for students that come from different countries like us. Our mission is to make every student feel at safe and at home, create positive relationships, and help them succeed at school and in life.

One thought on “African Girls in America

  1. Pingback: How CEPI Youth Spent their Summer Vacation, Part 2: The Teva Pharmaceuticals Internship Program | CEPI@CPP

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