Issaquah family remains caught in immigration limbo

September 15, 2009

On the first day of school, Sept. 2, Tessa Gibson walked into her fourth-grade classroom for the first and last time.

She wanted to say goodbye. Read more

Wolves hold off Eagles in boys golf matchup

September 15, 2009

Li Wang watches his shot on the eighth hole of Sahalee East. He finished with a 39. By Greg Farrar

Li Wang watches his shot on the eighth hole of Sahalee East. He finished with a 39. By Greg Farrar

Issaquah High School golfer Kevin Moon knew his chances of beating Eastlake’s Li Wang were good after he birdied the par-5 fourth hole on Sahalee Country Club’s East 9 Sept. 10.

Moon, a senior, nailed his second shot from the fairway to within one inch of the pin and finished the hole ahead of Wang by a shot. He sank a 25-foot putt for birdie on the next hole. And from then on, he showed command with his irons and finished with a 38.

“I knew if I pared out I’d be fine,” Moon said. “I was hitting my irons pretty well, consistent. I putted pretty well.”

But despite Moon’s medalist performance, the host Eastlake Wolves prevailed 216-220 over the Issaquah Eagles.

“It’s pretty challenging, pretty tight, narrow fairways,” said Moon, who had only played Sahalee East twice prior to the match. “You’ve really got to be accurate every time.”

Eastlake’s Li Wang shot a 39 on the par-36 course. Read more

This Salmon Days will be leaner, cleaner and greener

September 15, 2009

Celebrating its 40th year, Salmon Days remains as “fresh, fun and free” as the day J.P. Patches made his cameo appearance before a crowd of 15,000 at the first Salmon Festival in 1969. Read more

Issaquah astronaut honored

September 15, 2009

The Museum of Flight

The Museum of Flight

Secretary of State Sam Reed, Issaquah resident Dr. Bonnie J. Dunbar and First Gentleman Mike Gregoire (from left) at the Sept. 8 Legacy Project ceremony. Dunbar, the first female astronaut from Washington, and president and CEO of The Museum of Flight in Seattle, is being immortalized by a state oral-history project. ‘It is a real treat for Washingtonians and people around the globe to learn more about the Bonnie Dunbar story,’ Reed said in a news release. ‘She literally saw that the sky was the limit, and through an excellent work ethic, a top-notch education and family support, she excelled in a male-dominated field and flew five missions in space.’

50 years and still going strong

September 15, 2009

Margaret Marshall, 76, has seen the changing tides of education from segregation to No Child Left Behind. Photos By Greg Farrar

Margaret Marshall, 76, has seen the changing tides of education from segregation to No Child Left Behind. Photos By Greg Farrar

Across the nation, millions of children put on their best outfit, stuffed sack lunches in their backpacks and met at bus stops, near and far, to hitch a ride to school last week.

Despite color, gender or need, they filled desks and hallways, but it wasn’t always so, said former Issaquah teacher Margaret Marshall, who started her career in the late 1950s.

“Teaching was very different,” she said. “We’ve come a long way, baby, in 40-some, 50-some years.”

Today, Marshall, 76, spends her time substitute teaching for the Issaquah School District and traveling the world — still teaching children and seeking knowledge of the world around her, she said.

“I think people need to keep reinventing themselves to help live life to its fullest,” she said. Read more

Off The Press

September 15, 2009

PTSA offers free parent education seminars

Chantelle Lusebrink Press reporter

Chantelle Lusebrink Press reporter

As children turn from needing you for nearly everything in kindergarten to wanting nothing to do with you in middle school, many parents find themselves wondering how to stay connected.

More importantly, some wonder how best to approach tough conversations during a time children need it most. Conversations about drugs, alcohol, sex, peer pressure, stress, academic achievement — the list goes on — may seem insurmountable when your teen is plugged into MTV, their iPod or Gmail Chat correspondence more than you. Read more

Health Support Groups

September 15, 2009

Eastside Alcoholics Anonymous hosts the following meetings, for more information, go to www.eastsideintergroup.org or call 454-9192: Read more

Flu vaccine now out in King County

September 15, 2009

Seasonal flu vaccine is available in King County, public health officials announced Sept. 10. Officials said vaccination is the best way to prevent getting sick and to lessen the severity of illness. Read more

Program helps students search the world for education opportunities

September 15, 2009

Ilham Abdulrahman, 18, spent the month of August living with a host family in Turkey as part of a self-exploration and cultural exchange program sponsored by Summer Search. Contributed

Ilham Abdulrahman, 18, spent the month of August living with a host family in Turkey as part of a self-exploration and cultural exchange program sponsored by Summer Search. Contributed

Two years ago, Klahanie residents, Ilham Abdulrahman, 18, and Zakaria Abdulrahman, 17, never thought they’d experience the world away from their family.

Both siblings traveled this summer as part of a self-exploration and cultural exchange program sponsored by Summer Search, a national nonprofit designed to help students with limited means explore the world and attain success in high school, college and beyond.

“It was amazing,” she said, of her trip to Turkey. “I was so scared. But I’ve been to JFK airport and lugged my luggage around the world. I can do anything now.”

“It was awesome,” Zakaria said, of his Outward Bound wilderness excursion in Oregon. “I never thought I would do something like that.”

Being two of 10 children and having moved much of their lives — from Somalia to Pakistan, then to North Carolina in 2001 and Issaquah in 2003 — the two preferred to sit back and watch the world around them.

“I wouldn’t speak up in class,” Ilham said. “I would get home and be like, ‘Man! Why didn’t I say that?’ and I would be frustrated.”

When the family moved to Bellevue for a year in 2007, the two siblings enrolled at Sammamish High School and all that changed.

At Sammamish High, Ilham met a counselor who nominated her for Summer Search.

“I was like, ‘What is this?’” she said, of the thick packet and application. “But when I took it home, it said I could travel and they would help me get to college. I got the thumbs up from my family.”

As part of Summer Search’s program, both siblings receive mentorship services, academic advising through high school and college, preparatory services for college entrance exams, and social networking opportunities during national and international trips.

“There is so much potential,” said Mia Ellis, executive director for the Seattle chapter of Summer Search. “We help students think bigger than just the now. We let them think of what they want to experience, what they want for themselves and in their lives.”

One of the best ways to prepare them to reach their goals is to help them find strength in themselves with independent travel, Ellis said.

“They are doing practical things, like stepping on a plane or train, things they never thought were possible, but are very empowering as a way to help them see they can attain their goals,” said Rebecca Sullivan, Summer Search mentor.

The program allowed Ilham to experience life as a child instead of as a caretaker for other siblings, said Amy Russell, another Summer Search mentor.

“When you’re that mature that young, you just need to be a kid,” Russell said. “It was important for Ilham to find that balance.”

“I always asked what I could do, but they wouldn’t let me do anything,” Ilham said. “It was so nice to be a guest, go to people’s houses and travel with them.”

The Outward Bound excursion challenged Zakaria to learn new skills and conquer his fears.

Outward Bound is a company that brings teens from all walks of life together for an outdoor leadership and survival wilderness excursion.

“The hardest part were the river challenges, because I don’t swim that great,” Zakaria said. “But I did three of them in the river, and that has helped me realize that I’m not afraid to try my best and to not give up.”

“His counselors said that when he started, he tended to follow, but by the end, he became the one others followed,” Russell said. “It is really amazing.”

Because of the experience, Zakaria said he plans to turn out for the basketball team this year, is taking mostly Advanced Placement courses and hopes to earn a spot at the University of Washington.

Ilham said she no longer thinks of what she should have said.

“I just say it,” she said. “I’m not afraid to show people who I am.”

But it isn’t all fun and games; it takes dedication and hard work to be part of Summer Search, Ellis said.

Students are required to call their mentors once a week and report on their goals. Mentors help students wade through social and peer pressures. Mentorship ties also stay with students through college, helping them adjust. Because of that, 89 percent of all the program’s students who enter college graduate with a degree, Ellis said.

Once she graduates this year, Ilham said she hopes to attend an instate college to pursue medicine or writing. And she said she is thankful she goes with ties to Summer Search, which she later hopes to give back to.

“We’re like a family,” Ilham said. “I want to help the students who will come after me.”

On the Web:

www.summersearch.org

Chantelle Lusebrink: 392-6434, ext. 241, or clusebrink@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

Day of Caring project draws Microsoft, other volunteers

September 15, 2009

Laurie Litwack (left), an anti-Malware team employee of Microsoft, and Cynthia Welti, executive director for Mountains to Sound Greenway, dig up the roots of invasive plants Sept. 11 during a Day of Caring project for the Mountains to Sound Greenway, to restore an Issaquah Creek area at Lake Sammamish State Park. About 30 Microsoft employees worked at the site, and more than 200 worked at four sites along the Interstate 90 corridor.By Greg Farrar

Laurie Litwack (left), an anti-Malware team employee of Microsoft, and Cynthia Welti, executive director for Mountains to Sound Greenway, dig up the roots of invasive plants Sept. 11 during a Day of Caring project for the Mountains to Sound Greenway, to restore an Issaquah Creek area at Lake Sammamish State Park. About 30 Microsoft employees worked at the site, and more than 200 worked at four sites along the Interstate 90 corridor. By Greg Farrar

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