Hunter Goodroe Story

My favorite characteristic about Tika is that he is a kid. Not only in age, but in excitement and character.

Tika and his family are from Bhutan, and came to the United States for a better life through a refugee resettlement organization. Tika was naturally guarded when first meeting him. Any question I asked was quickly responded with a “I don’t know” in a way to shrug off an interaction. The spark of being a 5th grade boy was missing. He was compliant and quiet, most likely attending because of his parent’s hope for his literacy to improve.

Week in and week out of spending consistent time and developing a friendship with Tika broke down those walls. The inner kid that has been hiding because of transitional experiences, stress, and strife emerged. Laughter and nicknames appeared, along with him opening up about his favorite superheroes and video games. He started showing up early on his own before the program started. I think I have played more thumb wars, rock/paper/scissors, hangman, and tic tac toe the last few weeks more than I have ever in my life. “When do we go home?” was a frequently asked in the first couple of weeks, as he wanted to go home to play video games. He still asks it, but there is a smile on his face and twinkle in his eyes, as he loves the reaction he gets out of me. He laughs, then dives into this books we are reading, not wanting to move forward until he gets every word right.

Every week I get to ask Tika if there is anything I can be praying for. He has had a lot of anxiety about the upcoming state test in reading. We pray week in and week out for favorable results and the discipline to work hard in the meantime. Last week he told me he had been praying to God at home about the test and his family. Even though I don’t think Tika knows exactly who the God he is praying to is, I know that God knows who Tika is, and has him perfectly in His will.



Alysa Marx