“... but I always say to myself that I cannot let my fear stop me and I believe that education and hard work are the keys to getting out of poverty.”
Paw Shee and her family fled Burma in 2007 to escape violence, poverty and oppression inflicted upon the Karen people. She had received some education in Burma, but her school had very limited resources. It was in a forest where there was no electricity, desks or even a building. Paw also had to use rocks as a chalkboard. Once she arrived at a Thai refugee camp, Paw saw some improvements in her education, but she was confined to just the camp. She and her family moved to the United States when she was fourteen to improve their standard of living and so that Paw could use and expand upon her education. Paw did not know any English when she first walked through the doors of Hartford Public High School, but she overcame this obstacle and excelled in her schoolwork. Paw also excelled at soccer and swimming.
Paw has survived unimaginable adversity, and has become a stronger person because of it. She plans on owning her own business one day in order to support her family. Paw will start on her path to achieving this goal in the fall at the University of Saint Joseph where she will study accounting and business.