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May 2022
News, updates and perspectives on the
future of education from Learn4Life
Learn4Life Saved Ali’s Life…and His Future Looks Bright
Have you ever eaten green chicken? Taken cold showers with other people and been locked in a cell 16 hours a day? That was just part of the horror for Ali N., 15 years old and serving time in juvenile hall. He had been running with the wrong crowd and got arrested and sentenced to probation at home. Rather than changing his behavior, he cut off his ankle monitor and went back to getting into trouble. He was re-arrested and had to serve several months in juvenile hall.
 
“It was just horrible, and I couldn't stand it or myself. I knew I needed to clean my act up and stop being so emotional and impulsive,” he said. “When I got out, I decided it was time to go back to school and listen to my father.”
Haa, waxaan ku hadalnaa Soomaali
(Yes, We Speak Somali)
When you think of bilingual teachers, most people think of Spanish-speakers, but in our 80+ California schools 59% of our students are English learners, speaking 52+ different languages… Mayan languages Garifuna and Xinca, Chaldean, Filipino, Armenian, Kurdish, Hmong, Lao, Punjabi, Somali, Lahu, Khmer, Urdu and more.

While we have teachers, tutors and counselors speaking dozens of languages, with the shortage of bilingual teachers, we’re innovating in any way we can to ensure these students don’t fall behind. 
Maddy Learned it’s Okay to Ask for Help
Maddy R. had a tough childhood, being in foster care, living with various relatives and the ensuing trauma and anxiety that left her feeling lost. “Striving for academic success was the only thing that kept me alive for many years and Learn4Life sort of became my way out,” she explained. “I got the one-on-one time and patience that I needed and deserved. I had to learn that it was okay to ask for help.”

Now, Maddy is helping current students learn that important life skill.