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Out of town to Georgia: Transitioning to a new home

The Parish council featured here sits in Leanna Mckenzie hometown. It does not include a river unlike common Parishes. People usually drive in taxis and walk to see students graduate and perform pageants.

Courtesy of Leanna McKenzie

The Parish council featured here sits in Leanna Mckenzie hometown. It does not include a river unlike common Parishes. People usually drive in taxis and walk to see students graduate and perform pageants.

Courtney Moody, Photographer

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For the majority of people, moving to a different state causes difficulty, but moving to a whole different country can become overwhelming. Families also experience stress during these life changes, including a cultural shock when they arrive in the United States.  

While time goes on, trying to accommodate two divergent cultures becomes more difficult as one grows older. These opportunities may seem exciting for some, but for others, they leave a life behind with no way to get back.  

Sophomores Abigail Spence and Leanna McKenzie moved from their separate homes in Jamaica to America. They both compare past experiences of their childhood to their new life in America.

“Normally you see kids walking on the road — that’s a norm [in Jamaica] — but here you don’t really see them unless they’re exercising or going to the basketball court,” Spence said.

These fond memories get left behind, along with friends and family in a past home, all in the hopes for a better future. The courage shows in both these girls by moving to another country and leaving behind their childhood.

“When you get here and it sinks in that you left your home and everything you finally realize what you take for granted,” Spence said.

Both Spence and McKenzie consider the quality of education in Jamaica greater than America’s, but the availability of jobs in America outweighs Jamaica’s. A high quality education’s usefulness reduces when one can no longer find a job in your home country.

“I think more opportunities may be because in Jamaica the education is better, but there’s not a lot of chances to make good use of that education you get,” McKenzie said.

Gazing ahead to the future while only a sophomore in high school and making life choices ahead of time becomes a daunting task and Spence and McKenzie moved away from every sense of home, all for an unpredictable future.

Children moving to another country leave all their friends and extended family in a place they once called home, but the memories left behind do not outweigh the opportunities yet to come for these two.

 

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The award-winning voice of North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, Georgia.
Out of town to Georgia: Transitioning to a new home