Elizabeth Harris

Lidya talks about her life experiences.

Lidya Harms

“I’m a junior at Wilsonville High School. During Covid it was a little bit hard online wasn’t the best for me personally. I’m a very visual person so I like to be in the classroom to collaborate and talk with people. I ended up transferring to a military school down in Bend, Oregon. It was good but very challenging because they put you in a perspective of the outside inside. They treat you just like everyone else you wear the same clothes, the same shoes, and your hair was the same. No one was different and it was great because I didn’t have that level of jealousy; I could just be myself. I stayed there for about 9 months and I successfully graduated from military school and I’ve been back here for almost 4 months now and junior year is going great. The reason that I went to military school was to straighten out my life. 7th grade through freshman year I didn’t care a lot of things. I was treating others poorly and myself poorly and I needed a little bit of perspective on the outside-in view. This military school was everything that I needed big shout out to them because so it was great. It was really good it’s good to contact them now and tell them how I’m doing. This is also my seventh year here in the United States it’s very different from where I grew up previously and I’ve learned a lot. I feel as though it gets harder and harder each day that I’m gone from my family back in Ethiopia. I’m always wondering what they are doing without me. My sister and I go back and visit, searching for something that may not still be there. We don’t know if they’re still alive or if they still live in the same place. We do hope that that they are but that may not be a possibility. My siblings and I went to an orphanage for two years, then to another one, and then finally adopted. My father wasn’t ready to be a father and my mom passed away. She was our financial side so once she left we were dirt poor. Coming to the United States was everything we ever wanted, the new iPhone and new watch. It was crazy to think about the United States and when I came it was everything I thought. Over the years it was hard but the more I’m here the more I can see my opportunities. I can go to college and I have a good GPA to be able to go to a great college. Back when I didn’t care about my life I had a 1.30 GPA and know I’m standing at a 4.00 GPA. It’s good now, very good my family is happy I have friends and I have people at this school to help me. The biggest takeaway from my story is if you care enough about your life and what you want to be when you grow up it can really put everything into perspective. I can be a teacher I can go to the University of Oregon, I can play lacrosse because lacrosse is everything for me right now and I can do all these things that I didn’t think that I could do before. I love experiencing all these things and yes granted we do have off days but I think those off days make it so much better because we only realize how much of a human we are. I think that a lot of people right now need to hear that.”