Growing up as a non-native English speaker in the United States was not easy for Joshua Solano. Joshua’s family immigrated to the US when he was a young child, and he spoke a language other than English at home. This fact created a significant language barrier that affected his early educational experience.
The limited educational resources available for students who spoke English as a second language made it challenging for him to keep up with his counterparts. As a result, he struggled in school, especially in math and science. However, despite his academic struggles, he excelled in reading comprehension, writing, and speaking.
Joshua was enrolled in an intensive English as a Second Language (ESL) program in second grade. The program helped him develop his conversational skills and aided in communicating basic needs. However, math and science continued to be a challenge.
His math and science teachers did their best to help him, but Joshua struggled to comprehend the lessons. It did not help that most of the time, he felt embarrassed to ask questions, so he kept silent. Nevertheless, he continued to excel in reading comprehension, writing, and speaking skills.
Joshua’s family experienced a crisis when his dad got arrested and deported. This event shattered his family and brought him to a breaking point. He could not care about schoolwork because he was so angry at the world. Joshua lashed out, had outbursts, and his academic performance dwindled. Though he had support from family and educators he could not find a way out. It was not until he decided to take a different path for himself that things began to change.
Joining the Marine Corps was the alternative path for him after high school. In the military, he found a sense of belonging, brotherhood, and a disciplined approach to life. It was the military who taught Joshua the importance of goal-setting, carving out a purpose, and setting his dreams into motion.
When Joshua was a little kid, he knew he wanted to pursue politics. The Marine Corps strengthened this aspiration by helping him develop leadership skills and a keen understanding of the government. It was during his college years and after his military service that he pursued this political passion. Joshua enrolled in a Capitol Policy and Law class at a magnet school, and it was there that he solidified his interest in politics.
Joshua Solano’s story is not unique, and the challenges he faced are not exclusive to him. It is essential to understand the importance of educational resources and support for immigrant and non-native English-speaking students. With the right support, resources, and dedication, nothing is impossible.
Joshua’s journey has taught him that the key to overcoming any challenge is perseverance, hard work, and a burning desire to achieve. His hope is that this story serves as an inspiration to all those who are going through similar experiences. It is never too late to pursue your passion, chase your dreams, and make an impact.
Listen to the full episode here: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/american-potential/id1661043438?i=1000616853146