Join the Refugee Speakers Bureau at Storyfort this Wednesday! Three Boise-area high school students will share their stories of navigating life while switching codes between their cultures of origin and the homes they are now growing up in.
The students have connected over shared experiences and learned techniques for sharing their stories through Refugee Speakers Bureau workshops at their schools.
Eh Moo Wah is a senior at Centennial High School in Boise. She is a participant in the leadership class under Mrs. Jaimie Skinner. She was born in Thailand where her family had sought refuge after fleeing Burma (Myanmar). They resettled in Boise in 2013 after nine years in a refugee camp. She started out as a student at Frontier Elementary, then went to Lowell Scott Middle School where she was an ELL (English Language Learner). Eh Moo recently started working at a local daycare. She plans to take college classes at CWI and then BSU to pursue a secondary education degree.
Alphonsina Akulu is a junior at Centennial High School. She is a participant in the leadership class under Mrs. Jaimie Skinner. She was born in Tanzania where her family fled to escape the civil unrest and fighting in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in 1996. They resettled in Boise in 2013. She learned the English language really fast from when she was an elementary school student at Frontier Elementary and by the 7th grade, she was able to continue her classes outside of the ELL (English Language Learners) curriculum. Alphonsina looks forward to pursuing a college degree in the medical field and hopes to become a travel nurse. During the pandemic, she realized that working as a nurse is a reliable job and that she would be able to help others at the same time.
Deborah Tadesse is a senior at Riverstone International School. She was born in Kenya and resettled in New Hampshire first and then relocated to Idaho when she was 9 months old. She has had to navigate life astride two cultures. The culture that is practiced at home which is largely influenced by her mom’s Kenyan roots and that of the community that she has integrated into. She enjoys basketball, volleyball and soccer, plays the guitar and numerous other extra curricular activities. She works at a local pizza place and at daycare center. She is looking forward to pursuing a college degree whose major is yet to be decided.
Author: Holly Beech
Idaho Office for Refugees Communications Manager