90.9 WBUR-FM is Boston’s NPR news station and the home of nationally syndicated programs, including On Point, Here & Now, Only A Game and Car Talk, which reach millions of listeners each week on NPR stations across the country and online.
90.9 WBUR-FM featured 826 Boston student Ardit Briskaj’s essay, “Age Isn’t A Barrier For My Mom. As Long As She Can Continue Her Education.” Ardit’s essay is one of 74 student essays about the immigrant experience included in 826 Boston’s latest book, Like the Sun in Dark Spaces. The new book features essays by students at Boston International Newcomers Academy, a Boston public high school that serves English Language Learners.
Read an excerpt below:
Often she approaches me with a bunch of papers and asks me to read and explain them to her. I know for sure what kind of information the papers contain. It’s either another English course opening up that she wants to join, or a website that can help her learn English and she wants me to teach her how to use it.
My mom, Alketa, grew up in a family of seven in a village named Buz, located in a high and cold mountain somewhere in the south of Albania. Just like other girls her age, she grew up cleaning, washing the dishes, preparing food, and taking care of her four younger siblings.
She wanted to lighten the load for her parents. She grew up happy with what she had: a small house with a big family. But she always envied the respect that city children had. While they had real toys, my mom had to make toys with any materials she could find. The key to escaping village life was education and becoming a nurse or a teacher.
In the 1970s, the Communist System prohibited a person from becoming what he or she wanted, but instead forced a person to become what the country needed. Alketa was one of the lucky ones. Her village needed nurses, so she was chosen to continue her education. But she was a hero, not a nurse, because she started working for $5 a month to heal the wounded coming home from the war in Kosovo….