January 28, 2016
Photo By PAULA MULLER
Student Anh Nguyen, who was born in Vietnam, now attends North Shore Community College. She plans to study accounting.
By GABE MARTINEZ
LYNN— Immigrant students at North Shore Community College are using the school’s resources to make a difference in the world.
Two such students are Anh Nguyen and Albert Muhatikani. Anh, a 26 year old student from Vietnam, arrived in Lynn seven years ago to live with her father.
Albert, a 42 year old student, escaped the war-torn country of the Democratic Republic of the Congo as a refugee and he arrived in Lynn in 2010.
“I came to America because there is more opportunity here,” said Nguyen. “Most people in Vietnam don’t go to college because it is expensive.”
Nguyen is studying accounting at North Shore and hopes to one day become a certified public accountant.
“I like numbers,” Nguyen joked. “It’s a challenge, but I love it.”
Nguyen has applied to both Northeastern University and Bentley University and hopes to attend one of the schools in the Fall.
Muhatikani escaped the Congo while it was in the midst of a years long civil war.
“I didn’t have a choice to come here,” Muhatikani said. “I escaped to a refugee camp in Kenya with my family, and they told us America had the most opportunity for us.”
Muhatikani, like Nguyen, came to the U.S. not speaking English, but both were able to learn the language, thanks to the English as a Second Language classes offered at NSCC.
Muhatikani lives in Lynn with his wife and their five children, and is studying criminal justice.
“In my country our government is very corrupt,” he said. “I want to learn the law because my country needs that kind of help.”
Muhatikani mentioned that he hopes his criminal justice knowledge will be passed down to his children so that they are not taken advantage of.
While both mentioned that they missed their home countries, they are both enjoying the opportunity and freedom that comes with life in the U.S.
“Now I want to stay here, as my children grow up,” Muhatikani said. “Maybe in the future I can go back, but now it is not safe for my family.”
Muhatikani currently works as a certified nurse assistant, and also has an internship with CVS Pharmacy in their fraud and loss prevention department.
Gabe Martinez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org follow him on Twitter @gemartinez92.