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Mona Hakimpour, Outstanding Student – Bayside Literacy Center

Outstanding Student: Mona HakimpourIn 2011, after many long years of waiting, Mona was given permission to leave Iran and come to the United States. Being able to communicate well in her new country was a priority for her, so one of the first things she did was to enroll in an Adult ESL class at Mesa College. While there, she met a friend –coincidentally our Outstanding Student in 2013 — who told her about Laubach at Bayside Community Center, and Mona decided to add our class to her schedule so she could more quickly achieve her goal of studying literature at Mesa. 

Nearly 6 years later, she continues to attend classes 3 times weekly. We’ve all happily and proudly watched her gain proficiency in English, and her growing confidence has allowed her to become a real team player, actively helping her classmates, speaking up in class and comfortably voicing her opinions. In addition, Mona — a lifelong book lover — is now able to enjoy novels written not just in Farsi, but also in English. She’s improved her English composition skills, too, and our class is always enthralled when she reads her journal entries about her life and adventures in Iran. Mona’s also embraced San Diego and all the wonderful things it has to offer, at first taking city buses to explore, and now driving and eagerly visiting new places. 

In 2016, Mona fulfilled her dream of becoming a US citizen. She credited our class with helping her learn enough about our culture and history to pass her citizenship test easily. She has made many friends and takes every opportunity to share her experiences and encourage them to join our Laubach family and improve their lives, too.  Mona is shown with her teachers, Anna Lewis, Chris Phillips and Nancy Jensen.