Air Force Staff Sergeant From Kenya To Kennewick Now Teaches English In Afghanistan

Linette Nosim was only nine years old when her parents moved her from a small town in Kenya to the Kennewick.

"It was a small village and back in the day it had barely running water and no electricity," Nosim said. "Getting in a jumbo jet and flyings thousands of miles to a brand new country with almost everything was a lot of take in, it was very difficult."

Not speaking Enligh or understanding the culture Nosim had a tough time adjusting to America.

"I got made fun of, a lot of teasing when I was younger," Nosim said. "I think that motivated me to learn the language and the culture and try to fit in."

After graduating from Kennewick High School in 2006 Nosim joined the US Air Force.

Now Staff Sergeant Nosim is stationed in Afghanistan and volunteering to teach student a language that was once so difficult for her.

"It takes a lot of patience and having been there I know what their going through, I knew I would be able to help and I wanted to help," said Nosim.

Nosim's mom Rachel who is also from Kenya said she was shocked and scared when Nosim first mentioned wanting to join the Air Force in middle school.

"It's becoming easier and I'm learning as any other military parent that things can happen, and you pray for all of them it's just not your child is out there," siad Nosim.

She said at one point she was so focused on learning English she almost forgot Swahili, her native Kenyan laguage. That's a personal lesson she passes on to her students.

"I definitely promised myself I would never forget where I'm from and my language, and I learned that I have to fit into both worlds to fit in, but I tell them to take everything that they've gone through and continue to go through and to help that motivate them to keep going," siad Nosim.   

Nosim doesn't let her students give up.

She remembers how it felt to constantly ask the teacher to repeat something or slow down.

"At one point I just stopped asking questions," Nosim said. "I try to break everything down and encourage them to tell them to definitely persevere because they're going to make it and it's definitely worth it."