Student Spotlight: Mr. Khushall Shinwari 

Mr. Khushall Shinwari is a student at TLYL, enrolled in our ESL classes for intermediate-level students. In March 2015, Khushall and his wife Siamoy were referred to us by Catholic Charities, and have been dedicated students ever since. 

Mr. Shinwari was born and raised in Khair Khāna, Kabul City, Afghanistan were he spent most of his adulthood. After graduating from high-school, he worked as a driver for the U.S. Army. During this time, a U.S. Army soldier suggested that Mr. Shinwari enroll himself in English language classes so that he may work as a translator for the U.S. Army. 

Mr. Shinwari took the soldier's advice and enrolled in beginner-level bilingual English that lasted six months. He was not able to subsequently continue with classes, as a full year of English classes were too costly. However, Mr. Shinwari made the most of his short course and ultimately gained conversational English skills.

In 2012, he became an official interpreter for the U.S. Army. He made close friendships with his American colleagues and was able to learn various American customs and traditions. On October 2014, Mr. Shinwari was granted a visa to take his wife and three children to resettle in the United States. On January 2015, he arrived in Aldie, Virginia to live in the basement of his brother and extended family's home. 

"I am happy living in Virginia. I like the community, I like that there are jobs here. American people are good people, very accepting. I also like the security. It is safe to live here, not like in Afghanistan. My wife and I also like that our children go to good schools and are learning English. I am happy that I am improving my English too", commented Mr. Shinwari. 

Mr. Shinwari works at Walmart in Dulles, Virginia. His goal is to become fluent in English so that he can move up from his current position and improve the living arrangements of his family. He is an aspiration to other students, volunteers and staff at the organization.