Karen College Students as guest speakers!

Today I invite Sumya who I have met at the Children International Festival in downtown St. Paul that our students were a part of the performance to come and give a speech.  Sumya was the translator between our group and the Karen Buddhist Society Done Dance group.  Sumya invited her friend Eh Khu to join her to come and talk to our students as well. Sumya is a first generation student who will be a junior this Fall 2014 at the University of Wisconsin. She is majoring in Graphic Design.  Eh Khu is a second generation student who will also be a junior in Fall 2014 at the University of Minnesota.  She is undecided, but is thinking about declaring her major as Family Social Science. Both speakers are from St. Paul, MN the city with the largest Karen population. They came to share their story about how they got to the US, how they improve their English, why they went to college, and how there aren't many Karen students at either University they are attending that they have to talk to other people outside their own kind.  In the process we learn that not all Karen can understand each other depending on if they are Poe Karen or Sgak Karen, and that English was actually the main communication between these two groups.  We also learn that not all Karen came directly from a refugee camp like most of our students, but have move out of the refugee camp to the city before coming to the US. We have our student go around identifying which group of Karen they were as well as what they would like to do in the future and what questions do they have for the speakers.  I am grateful that we can find students in the Karen community who can come and talk to our students about their accomplishment, their difficulty, and their vision and hopefully our students can decided for themselves what the future is for them.