Laura Rybaltowska has proven to be a quick study during her brief time in the United States.

After graduating in 2015 from a small high school in Poland, she decided to come to the United States for a year to work as an au pair for a family in Chicago.

“It was such a big city and a big challenge when I first moved to Chicago,” she said. “I didn’t really know anything about the schools here. Even the grading system and teaching styles were all new to me.”

As part of her arrangement as an au pair, she was required to take some classes and ended up at Wilbur Wright College.

“I had a basic understanding of the English language,” she said. “But that first class, I didn’t understand half of the stuff that was going on.”

Rybaltowska continued to learn the English language, mostly by watching television and listening to the radio. Three years later, she has graduated as the valedictorian from Wright College with an Associate of Applied Science in Paralegal Studies. She has already found employment as a paralegal at an immigration law firm in St. Louis.

“They hired me on the spot after my first interview,” she said. “I’d like to go back to college at some point and get a bachelor’s degree, but I’m happy to be making money and traveling for now.”

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