Student Profile: Fooziyo Hassan

As part of our Adult Learners Week this week, we’re thrilled to introduce you to some of our students who we’re extremely proud of. People who have ‘#changedtheirstory‘ to reach for their goals.

Meet our student, Fooziyo who has studied English at YCC giving her the skills to move towards greater opportunities and a better quality of life for her and her family. Here is her story…

Fooziyo has been in Australia longer than any millennial, or Gen’ Y for that matter, but due to her life-circumstances, has been unable to attend class to improve her English until just a few years ago.

Fooziyo arrived in Australia in 1982 after years in a refugee camp in Kenya, fleeing the dangers of war in Somalia, and leaving many family members behind. While it was a huge relief to finally be accepted as a refugee, a range of new challenges confronted her in a country where she did not speak, read or write the main language.

Raising young children and becoming a single parent, while struggling to earn minimum wages had Fooziyo putting her education goals on the back burner for decades for the sake of providing for her family. Now, as her children enter their final years of schooling and university, Fooziyo has had some room to start to focus on her own learning needs.

Fooziyo is often the first student to arrive at the class each day despite having to walk and catch the bus. She is always the one making tea and snacks for the class during the break and lending a supportive and cheerful ear even with her own challenges, lingering in the background. She is incredibly committed and motivated with an unfaltering attendance rate, promptness to approach and complete tasks, consistency in doing her homework, willingness to ask for help and flexibility as a learner. Her dedication is even more impressive when you consider that Fooziyo was not able to become proficient in Reading and Writing in her own native language, Somali, leaving her disadvantaged when compared to learners whose literacy is well developed in their first language.

Joining the class has enabled Fooziyo to significantly establish her fundamental literacy skills. Through intensive practice of foundation reading and writing (in particular), Fooziyo has gone from reading a few high frequency words to reading paragraphs with increasing proficiency. While this may seem small to a native English speaker, these are giant steps for Fooziyo, giving her the skills to move towards greater opportunities and a better quality of life for her and her family.

Fooziyo would like to continue to attend English classes as well as purchase some essential learning materials to support her to improve. Fooziyo is interested in politics and would like to be able to understand current affairs in Australia to a more sophisticated degree. She would also like to actively participate in the wider community, which includes finding employment where she can feel useful and valuable. Finally, Fooziyo would like to be able support and keep up with her children as they grow up and start to become active citizens themselves.

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