An Inspiring Conversation

The other night, while out knocking on doors, I met a most inspiring woman. A retired schoolteacher, she and her husband have an empty nest house. Somehow she became interested in the plight of refugee families who become homeless. It is easy for resettled refugees again to face upheaval and displacement, this time in their new country. Public assistance for refugee families can run out pretty quickly. Anyway, this woman takes high-school age East African women under her wing. One or two at a time live in her house, and she supports them while they finish high school. She also works to prepare them to apply for college, in partnership with the College Access Now program. She is especially proud of one of her current students. This young woman is the first girl in her big family to receive an education, the first to finish high school, and the first to attend college. She will start studies at the UW Bothell campus this fall. I believe this illustrates how a village can help raise a child and how someone can overcome steep odds to achieve their dream of an education.

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