Almost 50 years ago, Farzin Yazdanfar arrived in the United States alone.  Today, he has found a family and a community at Daley College.

Farzin, an English as a Second Language (ESL) instructor at Daley College, came to the U.S. in 1976 to further his education.  He earned two master’s degrees—one in Near Eastern studies and the other in applied economics from the University of Michigan—but he wasn’t done with the field of higher education yet.

By 1986, Farzin was living in Chicago and working full-time at another university.  That same year, he accepted a part-time evening job at City Colleges of Chicago teaching high school diploma prep courses. A year later, he left his full-time job to focus on teaching those prep courses at City Colleges.  In 1995, he found his true passion in teaching ESL courses at Daley College, where he still teaches today.

“I love to share my experiences with students,” Farzin said.  “I teach ESL classes, and I’m an immigrant myself.  Many of my students remind me of myself many years ago.”

Farzin’s dedication to City Colleges and his students has not gone unnoticed.  His students nominated him for Richard J. Daley College’s 2003/2004 Excellence in Education award, which he won.  In 2022, Farzin was honored with a plaque recognizing his 35 years of dedication to City Colleges.

“It makes me really happy,” Farzin shared.  “It was truly an honor to be recognized for my commitment to the institution and its mission.”

Farzin is also an accomplished translator, having translated numerous texts from Persian to English and vice versa.  Many of his translations have won awards, including the American Institute for Iranian Studies award for best translation.  His work has been featured in the Chicago Review and the Rackham Journal of the Arts and Humanities.

Farzin is grateful for his accomplishments and proud of his many years of service to the Daley community.  However, what he is most proud of are the accomplishments of his students.  It is what keeps him returning day after day, semester after semester, and year after year.

“I love my students,” he said.  “They’re like my family.  I don’t have my family here.  That’s why I’ve been here such a long time.”