Struggling to pursue an American degree


Lata Kafle was just 18 when her family opted the third country resettlement in Spokane of Washington early in September 2008.

Lata Kafle

Upon landing in a different world that she termed as a ‘suffocated place’ for new arrivals like her, the resettlement agency placed her in a high school as she was still in the legal school age.

Back in Nepal, she had completed her higher secondary education from Siddhartha Boarding Higher Secondary School, Damak, Jhapa.

In a few months time, she started her first entry-level job as a waitress in a restaurant where she worked for more than a year before she decided to change her job.

“The single job was not sufficient to run my family,” tells Lata, who is the eldest sibling of her parents with limited English language.

She had no choice than handling even two shifts of jobs before she got a relief after her father found a job, enabling her to join a paralegal course.

A job to her father meant a lot for Lata as she could fully concentrate in her studies.

She says she has taken her paralegal course as granted for better jobs. She owns a dream to peruse the world standard American degree on business administration.

For the last three years, Lata has been working an instructional technician at the Adult Education Center (AEC), a part of Community College of Spokane, on part time basis.

Lata shaking hands with the Dean of Community College of Spokane after she was awarded as an outstanding female employee of the year.

Just last week the center recognized her as an outstanding employee placing her as the first female winner.

“It was a moment of excitement for me. I was bit nervous. I event felt that I didn’t deserve it.”

She further tells, “My eyes were full of tears when the Dean read a letter of nomination.”

According to her, she liked the very last sentence that her boss wrote in the nomination letter.

“Lata can’t be replaced.  Anyone would pay bunch of money to hire her,” she adds as she said she would never forget those words in her life.

At AEC, she enrolls students, gives them placement tests, processes their enrollments, maintains records and even assists students for the state level tests.

Lata plans to switch her current job into a paralegal field as she expects her certification as an assistant lawyer in a few months time.

“I must go for a better paid full time job to help my mom pay off some mortgage. Simultaneously, I’ll take my degree on business administration,” Lata adds, explaining about her future plans.

Last year, her family decided to purchase a house – she has a reason for that – her family was tired of paying rent every month.

“The rents we would pay for our apartment for a few more years would suffice to purchase a building that we can it a home of our own after 20 years of being without it.”

She regards herself as one of the privileged girls in her friend’s circle. She has a place called home, and a job to manage her daily life. However, she is of the opinion that she needs a better American degree to become a full competent.

Her younger brother Om is a ninth grade student, and is 14. His 18-years-old elder brother Prakash has been availing a full scholarship in family medicine at Whitworth University.