In September, iTTTi Vancouver held a one page essay writing contest on the importance of learning English from a personal point of view. The submissions were read and voted on by all iTTTi staff and instructors. Naoya Okita is a 21 year old student from Japan that has been studying in our college pathway program since June this year. When Naoya first came to iTTTi he struggled with basic communication but his dedication and hard work have seen him progress quickly and he is on track to begin his college studies in October. Unlike many students that tend to stick with students from their same home country, Naoya is always hanging out with students from other countries. While some essays were lauded for their technical skill, it was the unique and touching perspective of Naoya in particular who won the top prize of a trip to Seattle. Excerpt from his essay:
"If I have to answer why English is important, I'll probably say that I'm free. I hadn't been able to look for my future. I had always felt that I was in a dark forest without having a torch. Before I came here, I wasted my time drinking too much, spending a lot of money, hanging out with my friends late, but nothing satisfied me and I didn't have any motivation for other things in the world. But after coming here, my clouded sky cleared up. I could catch a precious opportunity to shift my wasted life. Now my aim is to keep studying English. And I hope god will give me a special path and guide me to a successful road of my wonderful future."