Tuesday, 27 of January of 2015

Success Stories

“No matter your culture, no matter your country, no matter how you were raised, no matter the circumstances, basically, everybody’s the same. They care about their family. They care about freedom. And they care about having a good life, a better life, and they’re all striving for that.”
-Mary Helen Purcell

The road to success in a demanding, ever-changing world is one down which we have all journeyed.  Trying to walk that road when you struggle daily with a limited knowledge of the language around you is an all-together different (and much more rigorous) challenge.  It is a challenge that all of our Learners know, from navigating the Web in search of employment to communicating basic needs to medical physicians to helping their children with homework.  Here at Skyline, we believe in working with our Learners so that they achieve a better tomorrow for both themselves and their families.  We believe in every person’s ability to learn and grow, regardless of history or circumstance.  We believe in you.

Below is a video featuring four of our Learners: Anay, Yuri, Andy, and Brittany.  They all came from different places and different backgrounds; they all sought to learn English and improve their literacy skills to better their lives and the lives of their families; and, with Skyline’s help, they all worked hard and overcame the various obstacles associated with these challenges to reach their goals.



Another Learner, Leul, came to America in search of a better life for himself and his family.  Born in the northeastern African nation of Eritrea, Leul fled his homeland, which was left devastated by war and other conflicts, and spent some time in an Ethiopian refugee camp before making his way to the U.S. six years ago.  Four of those years he has spent here in Harrisonburg, where he has worked closely with Skyline tutors to learn English.  

You can read more about Leul, his struggle to better his life and the life of his family, and how Skyline has helped him reach that goal here.

A refugee, Nkhai fled her homeland of Burma and spent some time in both Thailand and Malaysia before coming to the U.S. four years ago.  All of those four years she has spent here in the Shenandoah Valley where, with Skyline’s help, she is currently working toward her goal of obtaining American citizenship.

You can check out Nkhai’s full story, including the obstacles that she has encountered since coming to the America and her hopes for her family’s future here.


Aziz, a native of Iraq, was an engineer who specialized in farm mechanization.  But instability and political corruption prevented him from helping his homeland in the way that he wanted.  In 2006, he and his family left Iraq, and in 2009, they settled here in Virginia.  With Skyline’s help, they applied for–and successfully gained–American citizenship last October.

“It was dream, and today it became fact that I and my family, we are citizens of the United States,” the newly sworn American said after taking the oath of allegiance.

Get the full scoop on Aziz and his journey to America and American citizenship here.


Ofelia immigrated here from her homeland of Mexico over twenty years ago in pursuit of a better life. Prior to being cleared for a green card, she received a letter that threatened her with deportation–a letter that inspired fears of being taken from her home that would haunt her every day of every year that passed thereafter. But not anymore; last October, with the help of Skyline’s citizenship program, Ofelia applied for and was granted the American citizenship that she had sought two decades before.

“I think I have more opportunities to be able to help my family and to move forward with my goals,” she said.  

You can read more about Ofelia and her long road to becoming an American citizen here.