Hope in a New Land at Hmong American Partnership

Ju Si is a member of the Karen ethnic group from Burma. Before she came to America, Ju Si lived in a Thai refugee camp for thirteen years where she attended classes in Karen, Burmese, and English. As a child, and before she fled to Thailand, Ju Si was separated from her family when Burmese soldiers pillaged her village. When talking about her life here vs. her life in Burma, Ju Si says this about Burma: “Many, many bad things happen…I can’t explain.”

Ju Si has been attending English classes at HAP since she first arrived in Minnesota in 2007. Her ABE goals include being able to explain illness or pain to a doctor, report an emergency, and fill out and submit a job application.

As someone who has experienced many tragedies, Ju Si is very interested in the world around her and her role in shaping it (world politics). When she first came to HAP, Ju Si tested into level I. Today, she is a high level III; she watches the BBC news every night. In her words, Ju Si says, “…because they talk about what happen in the world…in Burma.” Her English has improved significantly; specifically, she has achieved the goals she identified early on when she first began English class. As she notes,  “My English is so much better today, Teacher! I teach what I learn in class to my babies every night.”