Tungjatjeta, that translates to “hello” in Albanian. My name is Dafina Dervishi, I have been living in the United States for over twelve years, and the first ten years of my life I lived in a little town called Drenas, in Kosovo, Europe. June 6th, 1999 is a date that I will never forget, the day my family and … Read More
Tungjatjeta, that translates to “hello” in Albanian. My name is Dafina Dervishi, I have been living in the United States for over twelve years, and the first ten years of my life I lived in a little town called Drenas, in Kosovo, Europe. June 6th, 1999 is a date that I will never forget, the day my family and I arrived in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, as refugee. It was the day where our lives were about to change dramatically. After staying in a camp in Macedonia for four weeks, we were ready for America, the land of opportunity.
It was difficult at first, learning the language was quite the challenge. However, we knew we were safe and learning became easier throughout the years. Although I got to experience a year in elementary school and three years in two different middle schools in Baton Rouge, we did not live there for long. After four years, my parents wanted to move up north, where some of my extended family lives. Oakland, New Jersey was our new home during the beginning of summer in 2003. Once again, it was a new beginning, town, environment, school, people, and a new life. By the time I started attending Indian Hills High School, my English did not suffer as much. It was easier to communicate with others and I started participating more often in classes because they were easier to understand. I managed to get good grades, and studied hard to further continue my education since this was one of the greatest opportunities given to us in the United States. Although education is just as important and relevant in Kosovo, financially it would have been very difficult for my parents to send us all to college. Especially being the youngest of four kids, I would not have seen a day of college.
Now I am a graduate from Montclair State University with a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design. It has been quite the ride so far. Education has shaped up my ideas and has tested my abilities for the future. I have come to realize that competition out in the world is great, but as long as I set my goals, with hope and confidence, I will pursue my dreams and take on any challenge that comes my way. I am a strong person, with effort and hard work I plan to succeed. Read Less