Helping Immigrant Teens Learn to Drive

Written by Hannah Johnson, Bhutanese High School Coordinator

Serving and sharing life with the people in our community is central to our mission. This fall, we are applying this in a practical way by offering a new driver's education class for teenagers in our community. There are many reasons that our teenagers need this skill.  They need to drive themselves to sports practice and extracurricular activities.  Many teens need to drive to work so that they can pay for college or help with family expenses.  Others need to drive older family members or younger siblings to medical appointments.

The process to become a licensed driver is a big one to take on, especially if English isn’t your first language. Kansas no longer offers a pictorial test to get your driver’s permit; you now need to be able to read and write English with enough fluency to pass a written test.  Often, the vocabulary needed for the test is unfamiliar to people from other countries. Our class has an emphasis on learning the vocabulary needed for the permit test, memorizing driving facts, and recognizing road signs. Also, statistics show that auto accidents are the leading cause of death among U.S. teenagers, so we emphasize safe driving habits such as using proper safety restraints for adults and children, attentive driving, and the dangers of driving while intoxicated.

For 12 class periods this fall, students will sit across the table from conversation partners and discuss these important topics. It is our hope that as students participate in our class their overall English and reading will improve, that they will be able to pass their permit tests, and that they will become safe drivers. Join us in praying that our class this trimester would be successful and that a new world of independence would open to our students as they learn how to drive.

Prayer needs:

  • Pray for the high school seniors in our community. Many of them are swimming in homework and the stress of decisions about post-secondary plans. Pray that they would have peace, feel supported by us and be able to prioritize their lives well.

Current needs:

  • Our Bhutanese Outreach has had a sudden influx of kids under 2 years old!  Our nursery needs more caring hands.  If you are interested in serving our smallest kids, please contact Kristen Maxwell at

Important dates:

  • October 15 & 22 (Latino outreach), October 20 (Bhutanese outreach): Bring A Friend/Observation nights.  If you or someone you know wonders what goes on around here on a typical night of programming, come on up/bring him or her up to find out!  Come to 22 S. 18th Street, Kansas City, KS 66102 at 6:30 on any of the dates listed.