Student Stories: Valikhan

Valikhan a University Settlement Adult Literacy class participant speaks about his experience in the program

Each year University Settlement impacts 40,000 New Yorkers who come from 50 countries and speak 40 different languages. Every September we begin new 10-month intensive classes in our Adult Literacy Program. Valikhan, a participant in the program, tells us what University Settlement’s program has meant to him, in his own words.

In Kazakhstan I was a professor. I was invited to George Washington University for a program and after I decided to stay and move to New York. But I did not know English. It was important to me to lean and so I came to University Settlement two years ago.

I have done a lot. I wrote two books and I met with members of Congress. I can speak different languages. But I did not know English and I needed help. When I heard about University Settlement I came here for help. It’s very important to me to have good teachers. Our teacher Jon has a lot of emotion and I like that.

I feel very good about my English now. I grow slowly but nonstop. There is a lot that I did not know before that I know now. Now I can describe things to people and am able to ask questions. Before I could not.

I was worried and scared at first but the teachers make it comfortable. You are outside your comfort zone but you need to do that to learn. Now I travel to other cities and feel okay about it with my English. I enjoy it. I am taking more classes to get even better. They care about you here and help you. I would tell everyone that they should come here.

Weekend Holiday Party Videos & Pics

Here’s a song cooked up by Class W2 about our very strict weekend Head Teacher Jinhee. The lyrics are below, as well as more photos from thew weekend holiday party. Enjoy!

“Jinhee Is Coming to Class”

by Class W2


You better watch out

You better not be late

Better not pout

I’m telling you why

Jinhee is coming to class!


She’s making a list

And checking it twice

Gonna find out

Who was absent or not

Jinhee is coming to class!


She sees you when you’re speaking

She knows when you are on your phone

She knows if you’ve been bad or good

So speak English for goodness sake!


Oh, you better watch out

You better not WeChat

Better not text

I’m telling you why

Jinhee is coming to class!

Jinhee is coming to class!