My name is Roman Nachtigal I born April 8, 1992 in Almaty, Kazakhstan. My father died
when I was 9 years old and mother died when I was 14. My grandmother had been living
in the United States for twenty years and after my parents died she adopted me and brought
to Portland Oregon.
When I first came to the US I started school but I did not speak English. I started classes
at Binsmead Middle school. Sometimes there were translators at the school who would help
to learn English. In about a month I was able to communicate a little bit. At home my
grandmother would communicate in Russian, but she helped me learn English also.
I started high school at Franklin but after three years I changed schools and my senior year
I went to The Portland International Community School. When I was a sophomore I started
First Robotics after school. Mentors teach kids how to build things and it teaches team work.
Robotics is interesting and I got to meet lots of people.
I came to Focus on in 2010 when I was a senior in high school. The best thing about
Focus on Youth is working with mentors and getting better at photography. I liked going to
the parks and like taking pictures. Some of the places I photographed were the Japanese Garden,
The Chinese Garden, Hoyt Arboretum, The Rose Garden and The Oregon Ballet. I met lots of
wonderful people and went to many great places because I was involved with Focus on Youth.
I am grateful for being part of Focus on Youth and meeting people like the mentors. For
graduation Jay and Donna Lee took me out to dinner to celebrate. Jay gave me a Nikon camera
for graduation which was a really good present, I really like it. Now I can go out and do
photography on my own. I am excited to be going to college in the fall because I want to get
my education and be an engineer. I will never forget what Donna Lee and Jay did for me.