Bishop Maginn High School
She arrived in America Determined to Thrive
By Chris Churchill
When Ni Lar Way was still in Thailand, she thought America was like a Disney princess movie. She thought its women only wore gowns and everybody lived in castles.
Ni Lar was a kid then, born and raised in a refugee camp occupied by members of the Karen ethnic minority ravaged by genocide in Myanmar. When she was 9, Ni Lar's family was given permission to come to America, with Albany as their final destination. They arrived in January.
"When I first came here, it was snowing," Ni Lar told me Thursday morning, sitting in a classroom at Bishop Maginn High School. "I thought the snow was ice cream and you could eat it."
Life in upstate New York for the family of six, including Ni Lar's three brothers and a sister, was hardly easy. They arrived, like most refugees do, with hardly any possessions. They were completely unprepared for the harshness of winter Full Article