SHAKIR

Oakridge Neighborhood

My wife and I came to Iowa with our four children as refugees in 2005. We’d heard good things about Oak Academy so we enrolled our daughters.

At home we speak Arabic. Oak Academy has a speech therapist work with children from non-English backgrounds, and these sessions helped my children develop their language and people skills.

The Oak Academy staff has been great to my children and to us as parents. They are professional, knowledgeable and experienced.

I come to Oakridge every day after school for the OASIS program.

OASIS has helped me a lot with my school work. We spend time reading, writing, doing math and lots more things. Because of OASIS, I do really well in school.

When I grow up, I want to work here. I love OASIS.

I am a single mom of eight children. After leaving Somalia in 2000 to escape the civil war, I lived in refugee camps in three countries before I was admitted to the United States under refugee status in 2008.

When we moved into the Oakridge Neighborhood, I felt like I was home. I met people with similar backgrounds, and the Oakridge staff supported and inspired me to do more with my life.

Through the Oakridge workforce readiness program, I gained full-time employment with a livable income, bettered my education, improved my English, and completed financial literacy training to manage my finances and be self-sufficient.

I look forward to becoming a citizen and having all of my children live with me when they arrive from Kenya. I have come so far because of Oakridge Neighborhood.