When Brtukhan first came to the Carlos Rosario School in 2008 she started in Orientation A, an English literacy class where she learned basics like the English alphabet.

Brtukhan, originally from Addis Abba the capitol of Ethiopia, studied in her country until 8th grade and then had to leave her education behind to care for her younger siblings. Brtukhan was married at age 18 and moved to Saudi Arabia with her husband. In 2002 she left that country for the United States. When she first arrived here, she didn’t work, but eventually found a job at the Cosmos Club, an elite private social club, where her cousin was already employed.

She enrolled in the Carlos Rosario School at the recommendation of a family member. “I decided to learn English because I knew I wanted to live in the U.S. Without reading, writing, and speaking English, you can’t do anything,” said Brtukhan.

In the six years since coming to the Carlos Rosario School, Brtukhan has become a citizen and earned her driver’s license. She is now better able to communicate at her job and to navigate systems on her own. She is in ESL level 6 (intermediate) and hopes to one day become a nurse.

Brtukhan’s teacher Sheryl Sherwin said, “She never gives up. Never gets discouraged. She came here and didn’t even know how to write the alphabet. She has persevered level by level with a positive attitude. She just inspires me.”