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High school student honored through Breakfast of Nations program
High school student honored through Breakfast of Nations program
Posted on 05/02/2019
Israa Alfadhli and Mary TangalosEach year the Breakfast of Nations invites individuals who have migrated to Macomb County, to speak before an audience of local residents, officials, business and community leaders about their journey and the life they have built or hope to build.  The event  is a project of Welcoming Michigan and the planning committee includes: CAPA Michigan, Chaldean Community Foundation, OneMacomb, Sterling Heights Regional Chamber of Commerce & Vibe Credit Union.

Israa Alfadhli, a senior at Stevenson High School, nominated by her teacher, Mary Tangalos, was awarded the opportunity to share her story at this year’s event held on March 8. She is the first student to receive what will now become the annual Breakfast of Nations Student Award.

Ms. Christine Sauve, Welcoming Michigan Director stated, "Our committee had a tough job reviewing student applications because every family migration story was moving and emotional. However, the decision to select Israa as our inaugural student award winner was unanimous. The journey she and her family endured to escape violence and seek safety was long and difficult. Knowing the backstory made her achievements so much more powerful; to hear how much progress she made at school, learning the language, and even volunteering to help other students, all within a short time span of eight years when most other young women her age are enjoying childhood."

The journey from Iraq began in 2011, when Israa and her family made the decision to leave because of the dangerous conditions, some days too dangerous to attend school. After living as refugees in Turkey for over a year, they received the call they were waiting for, the approval to travel to America!

According to Miss Alfadhli, her biggest hurdle as an immigrant was not being able to communicate. She entered the sixth grade with no knowledge of the English language. With the help of her classmates and teachers, within six months she was not only speaking English at school, but also translating and teaching English to her parents at home.

"Education is the key for everything," said Israa as she shared her story during the event.

Miss Alfadhli plans to attend Macomb Community College and after two years will transfer to Wayne State or Oakland University, where she will pursue her career goal, which is to become a physician. She is active in her community and volunteers for Dollars for Scholars and Peer-to-Peer at Stevenson High School.

Congratulations to Israa Alfadhli on this award. Isaraa was honored at the April 29 Board of Education meeting with her teacher, Mary  Tangalos.