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The A-Blast

Immigrant Stories: Coming to America

Emely Castillo, Special to The A-Blast

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My name is Emely Castillo- Severino and I am a senior here at Annandale.
I am from the Dominican Republic, Santo Domingo. I was born there and lived there for most of my life. I also went to school there until I was 10 years old.
At the age of 10, I came to the United States. My mom told me she wanted me to have a better future and education.
As soon as I got here to America, I started to cry because I missed my dad and all of my friends. Since I missed them, my mom let me go back to the Dominican Republic to visit.
After that, I have not been back since. When I arrived, I saw how different everything was from my country.
Things such as the public busses, the cars, the streets, the schools, the food, the culture and even the people.
I did not know any English when I got here. I took an English class at the school when I was in the Dominican Republic but it did not do me any good
The schools over there are very different compared to schools here. For example, public schools in the U.S are very nice and they do not have to have a class range.
Public schools in my country were for those who were not financially stable and could not afford to send their kids to a school with decent academics.
I went to private school called Colegio Palma Real located in the capital.
The schools all ended around 12 p.m, you had the choice to pick whether you wanted morning and afternoon classes. I personally chose the morning classes.
Also, everything was walking distance. I could easily walk to the grocery store, the clothing stores, and different kinds of restaurants.
My country is well known for baseball and the nice beaches. In the streets, you would see a ton of children playing baseball.
And the beaches would always be crowded with a lot of people. Since we had nice beaches and a beautiful country, tourists would always be around, I would see them everywhere.
When I arrived to the United States, I attended Braddock Elementary school for 5th grade and I started to learn English.
My teacher said that I was a fast learner at learning another language because it is usually harder for other people to learn English at my age.
Therefore, by the time I was in 6th grade, I already learned a lot of English and could have fluent conversations with other people.
I still miss everyone in the Dominican Republic since I have not been there in almost eight years, but now, being 18 years old, I love all the friends that I have made.

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The Online Edition of the Annandale High School Newspaper.
Immigrant Stories: Coming to America