What did it feel like when you won your case?
Happiness...I don’t know how to explain it. It’s something special that you feel. The opportunity that they are giving me, it is worth more than gold. And now I’m going to start my new life! The same day as they gave me the answer, I was starting to search for colleges.
How has the experience been adjusting to a new country?
At first it was a little hard. Here it’s a huge city; where I lived was a small town where everyone knows each other. The weather is very different from my home country. There it is always cold, and here it is a little crazy, it’s hot!
What has it been like going to school in the U.S.?
When I first came to the U.S., I stayed in a shelter for three months and I started going to school there. When I came to Los Angeles, it was a little bit easier for me to go to school because I had some experience with English. I started listening to music to help me with my English--Nirvana, Guns n’ Roses, and ACDC. That’s my favorite! Also some romantic music from the ’80s and ’90s. This year I’m going to be in English 10 and ELD 4. I’m going to take two English classes to get better at speaking.
The principal of my school also asked me to help her with different projects. I’m kind of a leader of the school. I advise newcomers and I show them to their classes. The principal told me I have to set an example because I am successful there.
What do you like to do outside of school?
My hobby is playing soccer. I first played soccer in the shelter in Arizona. On my high school team we practice three to four hours every day after school. We have to run, and we have to be in shape. I train in the mornings too. Last year, we were the champions of L.A.
I also play on a team with my father, so basically I play six times a week. It’s easier than playing with young people, because they are slow!
Do you have any ideas of where you want to go or what you want to study in college?
I started searching for colleges in New York and Chicago. I looked at the top 20 culinary schools. I would like to be an executive chef, that’s my dream.
What sort of food do you want to cook as a chef?
Classic things! Burgers, french fries, and some Italian food like fettuccine, Caesar and Farmer salads. I watch the Gordon Ramsey show. It’s really stressful but I like it.
Do you have a favorite thing to cook at home?
Desserts. I like to make brownies and cakes. My little brother saw me making some desserts at home, and he told me, “When I grow up, I would like to cook like you. When you get your own restaurant, I’ll be working with you!”