Athens Review, Athens, Texas

Local News

October 22, 2013

International student speaks

17-year-old TVCC student tells of changes in her life coming to America

Athens — A 17-year-old girl from halfway around the world stood in front of the Athens Kiwanis Club on Tuesday, and perhaps made the audience see their own country a little clearer.

Oglunazik Orazgeldiyeva is an international student from Turkmenistan, a country of desert, camels, oil wells and about 6 million people. Her  dreams of studying in the U.S. became a reality two months ago when she enrolled at Trinity Valley Community College.

After greeting the crowd in six languages, “Nazik” (as her American friends call her) told how she was able to go against tradition and leave her central Asian homeland for the U.S. to attend college.

“As a young citizen of my country, the only thing I was daydreaming was to get an education and be someone for my country,” Nazik” said. “I pictured myself in America, having friends from various countries, chatting with my Spanish friend, sharing homework with the Chinese friend and talking to American friends.”

 Growing up in a land where the major languages are Turkmen and Russian,  Nazik’s desire to learn English was sparked by hearing the song “Tired of Being Sorry” by Enrique Eglesias.

“It was a good song and was easy to understand,” Nazik said.

Her interest in English prompted her to begin studying in a larger city, a 2-hour round trip from her home. The classes increased her interest in the American culture, and gave birth to the desire to someday travel to that far-away land. Her dreams of a higher education were opposed to the traditions of her culture. After high school, young women of Turkmenistan are expected to get married and begin raising a family.

“I developed personally,” Nazik said. “I discovered my own values.”

Much of her extended family opposed her leaving for an education in the U.S., but her schoolteacher mother and craftsman father were supportive of her dream. Because of the warm climate in southern Turkmenistan, she began looking for a school in the southern U.S.

“Since I grew up in a little village, I came to think that the tiny corner of Athens and Trinity Valley College would be the place to pursue my dream,” Nazik said.

The first two months in America have been full of surprises and new experiences. Growing up, Nazik never saw such a variety of foods, and so many people with smiles.

“The school that I came from only had one computer,” Nazik said. “I came to Trinity Valley Community College, and every room has a computer. It seems like I lived in the 17th century and came forward four centuries in one night.”

Nazik is majoring in international relations. When she returns to her homeland, Nazik wants to show that there are more opportunities available for women of Turkmenistan.

“I want to make a difference in my country,” Nazik said. “I want to change those traditions.”

Text Only
Local News
  • 4-16 beauty.jpeg Bursting with beauty

    A shining star already in her parents eyes,  Geraldine Nieto displayed her ray of beauty Sunday in Tyler to claim top status in the Sunburst Talent/Beauty Contest.
    The 5-year-old Athens resident is the daughter of Jaime and Karla Nieto.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dozens attend council meeting for recovery, transfer station

    Nathan Bullard, owner of Yellow Box Environmental LLC,  was at Gun Barrel City Hall to explain future development plans for property located at 546 Gun Barrel Lane.
    Bullard said he wanted to introduce himself and his company to the neighbors who own property close to his project.  
    Bullard was on hand to inform the public and address any concerns about the company’s plan to build a recovery and transfer station.

    April 16, 2014

  • Commissioners sign proclamation for San Jacinto Day

    The battle of the Alamo may be the best remembered conflict in Texas’ fight for independence, but the battle at San Jacinto closed the deal.
    Representatives of the Sons of the Republic of Texas were on hand at the Henderson County Commissioners Court meeting Tuesday in observance of a proclamation, declaring April 21, San Jacinto Day.

    April 16, 2014

  • Ram to donate $20 per test drive to FFA Organization

    On April 26 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. the Ram Truck brand and Elder Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram will host The Next Crop Project fundraising event at the dealership to benefit the National FFA Organization and local FFA chapter leadership programs in Henderson County.

    April 16, 2014

  • Athens tables large purchase

    The Athens City Council  Monday tabled awarding a bid for a large piece of equipment that removes asphalt from the surface of paved roads to make way for repairs.
    City Director of Utilities Glen Herriage recommended that the council award the bid to RDO Equipment Co. of Irving for a Road Hog cold planer. The RDO bid was for $123,267.06, which is below the budgeted amount of $134,000.

    April 15, 2014

  • 4-15 Joe Curl photo.jpg Former TVCC basketball coach Joe Curl passes

    Joe Curl, the former head coach of the Lady Cardinal basketball program, passed away at the age of 59 on Monday.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Review earns six awards

    The Athens Daily Review was honored with six awards for journalism excellence during the North and East Texas Press Association yearly convention held Thursday-Saturday in Tyler.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mrs. Gibbs obit photo.jpg Mabank civic leader Alene Gibbs, 94, died Friday

    Long time Mabank civic leader Alene Gibbs passed away on Friday, April 11. She was born in Van Zandt County on Jan. 18, 1920. She was 94-years-old.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-14 Steer at auction 3.jpg Here comes the champs!

    Friday was a big night for the Eustace FFA at the Henderson County Livestock Show and for Jordyn Costlow, who presented the Grand Champion.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Saturday was payday at HCLS

    Payday came Saturday for  the youth who placed in the 54th annual Henderson County Livestock Show.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo