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If there’s one thing Zariah loves more than learning, it’s teaching. She teaches Bible study in her church and also teaches GED classes. It comes naturally to her. “Teaching is really just coming down to people where they are to communicate with them,” she says.

She doesn’t just communicate with people in English. Zariah discovered early on that she liked Spanish, and she has been studying it seriously for most of her life. She remembers meeting a student in 1st grade who couldn’t understand what the teacher was saying, so Zariah translated for her into Spanish. She loved seeing the student thrive and feel more comfortable with the language she knew.

Zariah knows what it’s like to need a different kind of communication. Early on, her mom realized that Zariah had a different learning style from most other students and enrolled her in a learning difference high school. With the help of all the people who believed in her, Zariah went to college and studied for a semester in Seville, Spain. She majored in Spanish and minored in Latin American studies, and she just graduated from Goucher College.

Today, Zariah is busy acting as a bridge between communities. She’s learning Arabic, Portuguese, and Italian. She works at a children’s learning center. And she’s helping people at her church who speak English as a second language. “When I needed people, they were there for me,” she says. “They’ve really shaped who I am, and now I can be there for other people.”

Are you a WIC Baby? We would love to tell your story! Email us at MDH.WIC@Maryland.gov or message us on Facebook or Instagram @MDH.WIC. ​