A few months ago, we wrote about one student of ours named Tula. Well this year is his big year to graduate from high school and head out into the world. Last night he did just that. With a glimmer of excitement and pride in his eyes, he walked across the stage to get his diploma.
For the refugee students and families who have worked so hard to start a new life here in the US — having overcome difficulties with language and gaps in education, transitions in culture and new friendships – it is a milestone accomplishment to graduate from school.
And here is where Tula’s story comes full circle. Originally from Bhutan, Tula and his family moved to United States 4 years ago from a refugee camp in Nepal. That year, he started coming to The Refugee Education Center with his brother. With a determination to work hard and succeed and the support of volunteer tutors, he hit the ground running. The following summer, Tula entered into our Leadership Program, which stretched him to see a larger picture for how he could be influential in helping others.
“He was funny and sarcastic, but always willing to learn,” recalls Susan, our Executive Director. Since that time, Tula has volunteered during the summer to teach other newly arrived refugee students. Last September, he spoke at our 10 year Celebration and organized a dance for the performance.
Tula graduated alongside two other REC volunteers, Cat and Rachel. Together they represent the future leadership of our community. They understand the value of education lies not in acquiring personal knowledge, but in how information can empower each of us to make our community a better place for all.
To all the students graduating this year, we congratulate you and wish you all the best in the years to come!