|Bayoush Ejigu is a parent of a second-grader at Yu Ming. The Ejigu family is from Ethiopia. Bayoush remembers being excited about the opportunity to send her son to Yu Ming, but “to be honest, I was also really scared at first,” she said. The Ejigu family speaks Amharic at home, and other family members wouldn’t be learning to speak Mandarin as well. Wouldn’t it make more sense to send their son to a different school instead?
The high academics and reputation of Yu Ming won her over. Still, she was a bit skeptical when her son enrolled. “I told his teachers, ‘You have to help him with his homework,” Bayoush said. “We already speak two languages at home.”
Like Gabriel, Bayoush met other families at Yu Ming who share a similar background. There are 10 other Ethiopian and Eritrean families at Yu Ming, Bayoush said, and those families share traditions and a culture that is celebrated at Yu Ming. Bayoush’s son also joined the school soccer club, where she met other families who assured her “we don’t speak Mandarin at home either” and also really value the diversity of the Yu Ming families.
“It gave me assurance that I didn’t make the wrong decision for my son,” Bayoush said. “The parents support each other. They made me feel more sure that he’ll get it and learn the language.”
“As a parent, I’m proud to choose Yu Ming,” she added.
Bayoush took her son to Ethiopia last year and was impressed with how well he spoke the language of his people and was able to understand friends and family. She’s proud that he’s growing into a global citizen. “The Mandarin will help him in the future,” she said. “It makes me proud. I want him to explore everything. It makes me happy.”
Gabriel also wants his son to be a global citizen and explore the world. He remembers the impact his school in Mexico City had on himself growing up. “In a way, it cemented who I am,” Gabriel said. “My best friends are my elementary school classmates and my philosophy of life was cemented during those times.”
The school had the right combination of high academics and fun, he remembers. “I had fun learning,” he said. He sees something similar happening with his son at Yu Ming.
“I want my son to have instruction, but down the road, I want him to look back and remember these years as happy years and recognize his success in life as a global citizen,” Gabriel said. “I hope that this school for my son, in this immersive community of multilingual families, catapults him to make the world his oyster.”