​Westbury Language Center 

Our Students Work

Student speech 


My name is Lilian and I come from Honduras, a beautiful country located in Central America where people work hard, know how to rise to a challenge, and learn the hard way. We believe that bad times not only make us stronger, better, and wiser people but also let us learn more about ourselves and our purpose in life. We know that nothing great comes easily and sometimes, painful things can teach us lessons that we didn’t even think we needed to know.

I come from a big family. We are 11 brothers and sisters and even though we had an amazing time together in our childhood, playing outside, swimming in the river close to our house, laughing with each other, sharing food, laughter, and meaningful moments, we also suffered a lot.

Our father has been an alcoholic his whole life, so we all witnessed a lot of physical abuse our mom had to endure. We had to hide under the chairs, beds, and sofas, so he wouldn’t find us and give us the same “treatment” as her. I remember the screams, the fast heart beatings, the trembling and the terror like it was yesterday. It was like living with the enemy under the same roof.

There have been days when the electricity was out and that was very scary, because although we weren’t afraid of the dark, we were fearful of our father’s return home, looking for us and our mother. You can only imagine how unsafe we all felt in that house. That is how we had been living for years and that was the reason that made me leave my home when I was 15 years old. When put in a situation where I had to choose if I continued to be mentally, emotionally, and physically abused or run away with the one who is now my husband and the father of my 3 children, I had to go with the last alternative.

Being both very young, my husband and I had a very hard time accommodating ourselves with living together, especially because after 4 months, I became pregnant with my first son.

Things started to take a toll on our relationship and given that we didn’t have that many chances in our country, of making good money for our new family, my husband came up with the idea of leaving for the United States.

I accepted his decision heartbroken, I felt bereft, upset, and scared, but I knew there was no other way. My husband was the apple of my eye, he was the only one I could count on, especially after I had left my family and they reneged me, I knew I couldn’t ask them for anything. I didn’t know how to cope with the fact that I would be left alone, raising a child on my own…

Somehow, though, you find the strength and do it! Motivation gets you started and my main one was the well-being of my son and our family. I knew that if I was ok, he would be ok.

Years went by and all of the sudden, my son was 4. I then began questioning the decision of having my family separated and my son growing up without his father. Thinking and overthinking, I made the hard decision of following my husband to the US and leaving my son behind for an indefinite period of time.

That was when I felt like I couldn’t breathe for the first time in my life.

Leaving and getting to the US proved to be both good and bad. Good, because I was able to live with my husband and work harder together to make more money to bring our child here, and bad because I missed my son a lot. I felt very guilty for years, for leaving him in Honduras. I almost felt I had abandoned him.

Later on, I became pregnant with my second son and that is when we decided to do our best and bring our first son here. He came the way all of us came and there were days when I didn’t know anything about him so I ended up being in the hospital, sick with worry. After many weeks of anxiety, my son was finally here and that was when I could fully breathe for the first time in many years.

With his arrival, things became better. We worked, my children went to school, I had a 3rd child, a girl, and our family life was just as it should have been. Together we could conquer it all.

Just like that, I decided to start learning English, to help my son in school, but I also wanted to pursue my dreams: of having a career, getting my GED, going to College, and starting my professional life which I had put on hold, for my family’s sake.

Throughout the years, I was able to bring 5 of my sisters here and work harder together to help our parents and the remaining siblings in Honduras.

I also learned to forgive our father and I felt very sad when both he and my mom passed away. No matter what happened, they tried their best by doing what they thought best. Now, that I am a mother myself, I can understand how complicated it is to be a parent and the tremendous responsibility it comes with.

Finally, I would like to say that given the lives we all had, the sufferings, efforts, and sacrifices, I would rather regret the risks that didn’t work out, than the chances I didn’t take at all.

So, I hope that you make mistakes, because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, and learning new things. By making mistakes, you became these beautiful, courageous selves I see here today!

To make lots of mistakes, my friends!

Thank you!