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Updated on Jun 3, 2019. Posted on Jun 3, 2019

Refugees And Children Of Refugees Talk About Their Future Plans

Refugees and their children can teach us a lot about the pricelessness of opportunity and the freedom to decide your own future. Here's what some of their dreams look like.

Ermina V. | Chicago

Ermina hails from Velika Kladuša, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and, like thousands of fellow Bosnian Muslims, was forced to flee due to the threat of war and systematic violence. Now, she proudly calls the east side of Chicago home.

What Ermina sees for her future: "My plans for the future include connecting with those who can relate being stuck at the intersection of first generation and imposter syndrome, while creating safe creative spaces and authentic content representing the real, not sugar-coated, lives of immigrants and refugees."

Miriam N. | Chicago

Courtesy of Miriam Ngai Lun Cing

Originally from Myanmar, Miriam first fled to Malaysia with her family when she was 8 years old because of war and poor economic conditions in her home country. Miriam's family remained in Malaysia for three and a half years as they endured the tedious refugee status and resettlement application process, and after multiple interviews, checkups, and other steps, they finally arrived in Illinois on February 2012. "I live now in a beautiful, big city called Chicago. I love the diversity and the community that I am apart of," Miriam says.

Miriam's goals for the future: "My plan is to finish my four years of college and hopefully attend further higher education. My dream is to create a nonprofit organization that can support immigrant/refugee needs for career or college."

Eliza I. | Evanston, Illinois

Courtesy of Eliza Inesse

Eliza and her family fled war-torn Democratic Republic of the Congo years ago, and for a while they called Burundi home. Eliza was dealing with illness at the time, and her mother was connected to a program that helps refugees within Africa who also deal with illness get to America. In 2013, her family was relocated to Evanston, Illinois, and Eliza is graduating from high school in just a couple of days, on June 2.

What Eliza's exciting next steps are: "I hope to go to a community college to get my associate's degree in nursing, and then transfer to a university to hopefully get my bachelor's and master's degrees. My dream is to work hard in the future so that I can buy my parents a big house that they can live comfortably without worrying about anything, in Evanston."

Shkar A. | West Fargo, North Dakota

Shkar is the child of refugees who fled Sulaymaniyah, Iraq, during Saddam Hussein's regime and his war on the Kurds in North Iraq. Now, he lives in West Fargo, North Dakota, with his family and is a student at North Dakota State University.

What Shkar has planned for his future: "My goals for the future right now are to go to law school and end up either being a professor at a law school or perhaps maybe one day work for a nonprofit!"

Jasna B. | Minneapolis

Courtesy of Jasna Burza

Jasna fled Bosnia and Herzegovina during the war in the 1990s. She came to the United States as part of a Whalen Family Scholarship and attended College of Saint Benedict in Minnesota. Now, Jasna lives in Minneapolis with her family and is looking forward to a lifetime of happiness and stability.

Jasna's dreams for her future: "So, so, so many! I hope to inspire millions around the globe to overcome whatever hard times they are going through and to know that they have something magical to offer to the world. That is how I will know that I am living my purpose and that my childhood experience was turned into something good."

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