Halima came to Indy Reads after spending years and years moving from place to place. At the age of 13, she fled her home country of Algeria thanks to an arranged marriage. She was taken to France and promised an education and a brighter future, but was immediately put to work instead.
Over the following years, she was a waitress, ran a café, became a seamstress, and held a number of other jobs before deciding she’d had enough of simply following orders. Halima wanted to be able to speak for herself.
She enrolled at Indy Reads to build up her literacy skills, and to unlock the confidence she needed to speak up.
“I am not ashamed to talk now,” Halima says. “Before, I was afraid; if I say the wrong thing… it’s not good. I would say to my husband, ‘Go, talk for me.’
“But not now.”
After all her struggles, including a recent cancer diagnosis that has taken her all the way back to France for treatment, she’s still a model student.
“Looking at all she’s been through, from bad husbands and struggles with her career, and she still shows up every day,” says Halima’s student navigator, Chris Simmons. “She’s coming in with the best attitude in her class.”
We’re grateful for students like Halima who help to give inspiration to other students, and who lead with their examples of hard work and resilience — and for being a great friend to everyone.
Indy Reads is proud to partner with IndyGo to support students in the Community Classrooms program. Watch for more student stories in each month’s newsletter, and catch Routes 19, 38, or 39 to visit Indy Reads at the Central Library, or Routes 11 or 21 to visit Indy Reads Books! All route and trip information is available at indygo.net.