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#Region Proud: Susie Choi

When I was 21, I moved to Chicago and had my first real job interview.

I was interviewing for a high school math teacher position in East Chicago. I was very confused, “East Chicago? There’s a city in the middle of Lake Michigan?”

After I got the job, I had to buy a car to make the hour trek to the Region. I also had to learn how to drive. My first solo drive was my first day of work.

I still remember that drive. I was so scared. My clammy hands were clenched onto the steering wheel at 10 and 2. However, it was during that drive that I saw the factory smoke stacks against the amber sunrise for the first time. The beauty almost made me forget that I was driving for the first time.

It has now been four years of waking up and making the drive home to Northwest Indiana.

Home is where the heart is, and my heart is with the students I have had the honor of working with.

I know that Ernesto will one day live out his dream to change the world for the better. Isabel will become someone who helps others. Davion will use his intelligence and quick wit to woo future clients, instead of annoying his teachers (in the most charming way possible).

These are just a few of the kids I have had the privilege of getting to know. They have helped me realize my desire to become a lifelong educator, and molded me into who I am today. They have shown me what love really is.

There has never been a group of people who have better helped me define the word home.

So, thank you, Northwest Indiana, for welcoming me home.

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