By Ana Villagomez, Promotor/Youth Advocate
Prior to officially enrolling in any LAYC programs, Mahdi, 19, had often times participated in several program events and had always left his positive energy and great humor among the LAYC family. In March 2016, he formally joined one of LAYC’s housing programs; Mahdi moved into an apartment on his own and has been successfully adjusting to independent living since then.
Mahdi traveled to the United States with his sister from Afghanistan at 16 years of age through a refugee program for minors, and he faced many challenges that shaped his values and character. After arriving to the United States, Mahdi and his sister lived with foster parents in Maryland. He enrolled at LADO International Institute in Silver Spring, Maryland to study English. Mahdi used to practice English by listening to music, watching movies, and constantly communicating with people around him.
At the age of 18, Mahdi joined LAYC and while adjusting to independent living with us, he obtained employment independently, as well as his driver learner’s permit, and he successfully enrolled in the International Language Institute for one month of intensive English language classes. Through hard work, persistence, and dedication Mahdi was able to pass all four parts of the GED this past December, and he is currently attending Montgomery College as a part-time student. Mahdi is interested in pursuing a career in computer science and is proud to have achieved many goals in the last few years.
Mahdi never hesitates to help others around him; he works hard and under no circumstances loses his sense of humor. Every time you see Mahdi around, you will most certainly receive a wonderful “Good morning,” and be left with his joyful energy.