We are celebrating the two-year anniversary of the Altyara family’s arrival to the U.S. These two years have seen remarkable progress for the family.  They received their green cards this spring, which are important as they travel the path to citizenship. The family continues to live in the home People’s Church Refugee Resettlement Team found for them in 2016. They really like the neighborhood and the location. They are becoming more and more independent; making their own doctor’s and dentist’s appointments and doing all of their own shopping. They no longer qualify for State of Michigan food assistance (three wage earners) and are managing their bank accounts and saving substantial money. It is impressive to witness!  An update on each family member follows:

Khaled (the dad) will have his one-year anniversary in July, working for Schupan and Sons. By all reports he is doing very well. He works mainly at assembling motherboards for computers.

Fatema (the mom) just passed her road test for her driver’s license. People’s Church volunteers, Gary Heckman and Rick Johnson, were instrumental in teaching her how to drive.

Adham (the oldest son – age 23) has learned a great deal of English thanks to the ESL programs our community offers. (One of them is spearheaded by our own Vicki Konzen) He has a job at Walmart bringing in the carts from the parking lot. We are grateful to his employers at Walmart for their support of him as he learns to be a good employee. He continues to request help from tutors, one-on-one to learn English as well as math, science and social studies. Please let Ann Feldmeier know if you are able to volunteer some time to tutor Adham, feldtrow@aol.com or 269-720-1649.

Molham (age 22) continues to work full time at Shawarma King on Westnedge. He is working on obtaining his GED. This month he passed the Math GED test, after learning all of high school math in 8 months!  We are very proud of his accomplishment. Next, he plans to tackle science.

Moayyad (age 19) is finishing his sophomore year. He works super hard and gets very good grades. It is amazing to watch him master English, get caught up with his peers and excel in his classes. He made the JV soccer team last year and will be trying out for soccer again this summer.

Omar and Abdullah (age 13) are completing sixth grade. It has been a tough year for the boys, as middle school often is.  Layering on top of adjusting to middle schol are the multiple challenges of learning English, trying to catch up academically with their agemates, and navigating making new friends. They will be attending summer school for a month this summer. We would really like to help the boys reach grade level in math over the summer. We are in need of a teacher who is familiar with common core math to help them.  Please let Ann Feldmeier know if you are interested and have the skill set to help the boys, feldtrow@aol.com.

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