For the last four years, the IRC in Dallas has been holding a Robing Ceremony the night before graduation to honor fifteen high school graduates who started their journey in the US as refugees. Since we are unable to gather this year, we are sharing the great accomplishments of these remarkable students here.
Each student highlighted will be receiving a College Readiness Bundle with a laptop, IRC swag, and other necessary items for their continued education. Thanks to Soap Girl, Northridge Presbyterian Church, and Northwest Community Center for their contributions.
With the support, guidance, and love of their families and mentors, these students are prepared for the first steps of their future endeavors.
Please join us in celebrating the Class of 2020!
Abdul Hamid's achievements include graduating from Lake Highlands High School after being in the U.S. for just over one year. He was a member of the IRC’s Academic Coaching Program and his proudest moment is “graduating at the end of this month.” He plans to attend Richland College in the fall.
When asked to share one person who supported him throughout his education he chose his IRC Academic Coach, Deanna Zeidan. Abdul said:
“Deanna has helped me so much in school. She is the person who always communicated things to me and set up meetings for me to talk to my counselor. She checked on my grades and helped make sure I got the credits I needed to graduate high school as soon as possible. Over the past year, Deanna has been so helpful. If it wasn’t for her I wouldn’t be able to get my diploma and graduate high school in just one year.”
Aye Aye’s achievements include being selected for a Summer Law Internship with the Dallas Bar Association. At Conrad High School, she was a member of Art Club, Burmese Club, Diamonds and Pearls Club, HOSA, Orchestra, and Rising Leaders and was a Just Say Yes mentor. Her proudest moment is “being selected as one of only two students in the high school for the Teen School Board.” This fall, she will be attending Texas Women’s University.
When asked to share one person who supported her throughout her education she chose her father, A Naing. Aye Aye said:
“My dad influenced my success by supporting and motivating me. He has always been there for me whenever I need him. He gives me strength to try again when I fail. He shows me what’s right and what’s wrong. Whatever I go through, he stands in front of me and protects me. Even when I feel like giving up, he motivates me by saying “even though you fail this time you can try again and get better”. My father sacrificed everything to get me and my brother to America. His sacrifice motivates me and makes me want to try my best at whatever I do.”
Dawt Par’s achievements include being selected for a Summer Law Internship with the Dallas Bar Association. At Conrad High School, she was a member of Choir, Diamonds and Pearls Club, HOSA, and Rising Leaders. She has received a scholarship from Preston Hollow Presbyterian Foundation and will attend Texas Women’s University in the fall. Her proudest moment is “graduating with perfect attendance.”
When asked to share one person who supported her throughout her education she chose her father, The King. Dawt Par said:
"My dad is the reason why I am in this country, and why I am able to go to graduate high school. Though he only was able to attend school until fourth grade, my dad has so much wisdom. He is a quiet person and never brings up all that he does for me. But behind the scenes, he has done so much for me. He has supported me by putting my education first. If anything was connected to education, he made sure I was there. I remember when I went to school in Malaysia. I really wanted an English to Chin dictionary. We didn’t know where to buy it, so he searched until he found it. That dictionary was so useful for not just me, but my entire class that shared it with me. There are a lot of things that he has done for me, many of which I will never even know. Without him I would not be in where I am today and have so many opportunities in my life."
Htway Hla’s achievement include being on A&B Honor Roll and placing 1st in Chess Competition. At Conrad Global Collegiate Academy, she was a member of Chess Club, Eagle Scholars, and Rising Leaders. Her proudest moment is “graduating in the top 10%.” She will be attending University of Texas at Dallas in the fall.
When asked to share one person who supported her throughout her education she chose the Director of Eagle Scholars, Dr. Janet Morrison-Lane. Htway Hla said:
“Mrs. Janet is my inspiration and has helped me throughout my entire journey. She knows more about me than I know about myself. It is because of her encouragement that I took the initiative to get out of my comfort zone, applied to the collegiate program, and expanded my connections. Through her skillful communication, Mrs. Janet was the first person to help me feel confident in myself. She helped me to think about college after I graduate high school and be more ambitious with my future. Mrs. Janet changed my life, and I hope to become more like her every day.”
Khai Khan Kim
Khai Khan Kim’s achievements include being the pianist for Modern Band and winning Videographer awards. At Conrad Global Collegiate Academy, he was a member of the Environmental League, Modern Band, Robotics and played tennis. This fall, he will attend Full Sail University.
When asked to share one person who supported her throughout her education she chose the Director of Eagle Scholars, Dr. Janet Morrison-Lane. Khai Khan Kim said:
“Janet has had my back since day one. Whether it is school related, or personal reasons, I can always count on her to listen and give back the right advice; even if it isn’t the one I want to hear. She is that 2nd parent; always looking for a way for you to achieve more, learn more, and explore a lot of things before you set your mind on things.”
Me Me Khai
Me Me Khai’s achievements include being selected for a Summer Law Internship with Dallas Bar Association. At Conrad Global Collegiate Academy, she was a member of the Drill Team, Eagle Scholars, and Rising Leader. She also spent time as a Sunday School teacher. She received a scholarship from Toyota and will attend Texas Women’s University in the fall. Her proudest moment is “getting accepted into the Conrad Global Collegiate Academy.”
When asked to share one person who supported her throughout her education she chose her mother, Ni Ni Win. Me Me Khai said:
“My mom is my hero, not because of what she offers to the world, but what she offers for me. She’s someone who supports my dreams when no one else will. When the world turns their back on me, she doesn't. She's always there for me. She's someone with an unbiased opinion, and when drama hits, she always gets me out of trouble. She knows me better than I know myself. She's someone who can read my mind, sense my pain, and radiates positivity. She loves me for who I am and lives for my success. She is my hero because she is always present and fights for the happiness of me and others. My mom didn’t have a chance to go to school when she was young because they couldn’t afford it, but there's never a moment when she’s not giving her best. When times get tough for me, she's always there by my side. I have never met a person who's as selfless as her. There are times when I’ve wanted to give up because of all the stress and challenges I faced while in high school. However, I saw my mom working day and night to provide for our family, and that was the biggest thing that kept me going toward my dream. She has been by my side for 18 years now and I know there are many more to come. Nothing will ever compare to how much she has impacted my life. I wouldn’t be the woman I am today without her.”
Mohammad Faroz’s achievements include graduating in the top 10%, being the tennis captain and MVP, being the Chess MVP, being the Dallas Mayor’s Intern at City Hall, and interning at Stemuli. At Conrad Global Collegiate Academy, he was a member of the Boys and Girls Club, Eagle Scholars, Environmental League, Math Club, Poetry Club, and Young Professionals in Finance. He received scholarships from Toyota, Subhasish Bhowmik Memorial, the TexTESOL, and the Young Professionals in Finance. His proudest moment is “passing my Cisco Certified Network Associate certification.” In the fall, he will start classes at University of Texas at Dallas.
When asked to share one person who supported him throughout his education he chose his father, Faroz Fnu. Abdul said:
“I chose my dad because I want to show my appreciation, even though this is nothing compared to what he has done for me and my sister. I chose him because he is my role model, my mentor, someone who has always been looking over me, even when he was away. Always working to make sure we had food to eat and clothes to wear. I'm very grateful to have his support. He taught me many important lessons in life: teaching me how to find faith in God, in myself, and how to respect others. He fought and struggled to make sure we were perseverance. Leaving his country and moving to a new place where he did not know anyone and being a single parent were some of the major challenges that he faced. I have always failed to properly thank people in my life, but I wanted to use this opportunity to be able to tell you dad, that you are my hero, you are my life. Thank you for everything that you have done. I hope I have made you a little proud today, and I will work hard so that hopefully I can help and support you like how you have been supporting our family.”
Monique Uwingeneye’s achievements include graduating Conrad High School in three years. She was a member of Conrad choir, church choir, IRC’s Academic Coaching Program, and Journeys. Her proudest moment is “passing [her] STAAR Tests.” In the fall, she will continue her education at El Centro College.
When asked to share one person who supported her throughout her education she chose her IRC Mentor, Sherri Morrison. Monique said:
“Mrs. Sherri has been a big influence on my life. She has supported me from the start and still supports me now. I remember when we first arrived, I had no idea how I would go to school because I didn't speak English. Mrs. Sherri is the one who took the time to help me, to teach, or even just make me feel happy. She gave me strength and showed me everything that would be possible if I put in the effort. She helped me whenever I had problems with homework, projects, or writing essays. I could say so many more things about Mrs. Sherri. No matter what I have needed, Mrs. Sherri has always been there for me.”
A student at Conrad High School, Noora Haghar’s achievements include A & B Honor Roll, Aspen Challenger Winner, Best Performance from the Conrad Dance Academy, and Water Conservation Project Award Winner. She was a Senior Class Officer and member of Environmental League, Eagle Scholars, Collegiate STEPS, Peer Assistance and Leadership, Yearbook, and Young Professionals in Finance. She has received scholarships from Scholarshot, Toyota, UNT Academic Excellence Scholarship, and Women LEAD. Her proudest moment is “winning The Aspen Challenge and going to Aspen, Colorado to present our idea.” In the fall, she will be attending University of Texas at Dallas.
When asked to share one person who supported her throughout her education she chose her father, Faez Haghar. Noora said:
“My father is the hardest working person I know. He couldn't go to college in Iran due to religious persecution, so he decided to move my family out of Iran so that my siblings and I could have the opportunity to pursue higher education. Even though he didn't speak English when we moved to the US in 2012, he found a way to support my family. Immigrating to Dallas was the hardest journey of my life, but it never seems that way when I talk to my dad about it. When I bring up our previous life in Iran, he talks about the future and how every decision he has made was for our best interest. My dad is always grateful, despite the struggles he faces every day. He always has the biggest smile on his face and he never ceases to make me laugh. I know how tired he is from constantly working, and I hope that I can make him proud one day.”
Rahmo Bare’s achievements include graduating in the top 3% at Conrad Global Collegiate Academy, winning the Dallas Maverick’s MLK Essay Contest, being an IRC Youth Voices Author and the IRC Dallas’ Mayor’s Intern. She was a member of the Boys and Girls Club, Eagle Scholars, HPREP at UT Southwestern, Poetry Club, Rising Leaders, The Perry Initiative, and Young Professionals in Finance. She received scholarships from Women LEAD, Toyota, InspirASIAN, Preston Hollow Foundation, Frederica Chase Dodd, Legacy of Service, and Subhasish Bhowmik Memorial. Her proudest moment is “completing high school with [her] diploma and [her] associates degree in applied science.” In the fall she will continue her studies at Texas Women’s University.
When asked to share one person who supported her throughout her education she chose her mother Fadmo Salad. Rahmo said:
“My mother is my role model because she always supported me in all of my endeavors. My mother has fought relentlessly for our family and made sure that we were able to have everything we needed to succeed in our academics. It is because of her that I am here today, poised to be the first woman in my family to ever graduate high school and go to college. It is with my mother in mind that I pursue higher education, so that I can achieve the dreams she worked so hard for me to be able to realize. Though I still have many steps to take in my education, not a day goes by when I don’t think about the motivation and inspiration that I have thanks to her.”
Sang Peng Ceu
Sang Peng Ceu’s achievements include graduating in the top 5% at Conrad Global Collegiate Academy. He was also a DISD Scholar, in National Honor Society, a recipient of the Outstanding Band Member Award, and Star Performer. He was a member of Modern Band and Orchestra and received a scholarship from Full Sail Creative Minds. His proudest moment is “winning the 2018 national Songwriter Exhibition contest.” He will continue his studies at University of Texas at Dallas.
When asked to share one person who supported him throughout his education he chose his mother, Biak Par. Sang Peng Ceu said:
“My mother is the strongest person in the world that I know. She took both mom and dad roles for me and my little sister after my dad passed away in 2012. She works overtime, cooks, does laundry, and pays bills so that me and my little sister can focus on our dreams and education, while also working as a chairwomen in our church. She provides for me and my little sister’s needs and wants so that we can have a normal life. She is understanding, supportive, and accepting of my dreams, ambitions, and, of course, my out-of-the-norm college major. Most importantly, I am blessed by her constant prayers for me and my little sister. Her hard-work and love motivates me to work harder than my peers because if my mom can do it, so can I.”
A student at Conrad Global Collegiate Academy, Shay Mo’s achievements include being a DISD Scholar. She was a member of the Boys and Girls Club, Eagle Scholars, Soccer, and Young Professionals in Finance. She received the Texas A&M Commerce’s Presidential and Mane Achievement scholarship. Her proudest moment is “being the first in my family to graduate high school my diploma and an associate degree.” She will be continuing her education at Texas A&M Commerce in the fall.
When asked to share one person who supported her throughout her education she chose her father, Meh Reh. Shay Mo said:
“My dad has always encouraged me to go above and beyond. He has made many sacrifices for me to be where I am today. He works long hours to ensure a roof remains over our heads. Although it was heartbreaking when I got a glimpse of what his everyday work life was like, it motivated me to continue working hard. Through his actions, I could tell he loves me and is proud of me, whether it’s picking me up late at night from a soccer game or bringing me fruits while I do my homework. I couldn’t’ve asked for a better father or supporter of my dreams than him.”
Twa Bee’s achievements include speaking at the 2017 Immigration Mega March. At Conrad Global Collegiate Academy, she was a member of the Boys and Girls Club, Chess Club, Eagle Scholars, and Young Professionals in Finance. She has received scholarships from Scholarshot, Subhasish Bhowmilk Memorial, Toyota, and Young Professionals in Finance. Her proudest moment is “being chosen as one of two students to speak at the Collegiate Revelation Ceremony.” She plans to attend University of Texas at Arlington in the fall.
When asked to share one person who supported her throughout her education she chose the Assistant Director of Eagle Scholars, Esther Oni. Twa Bee said:
“I have known Esther for many years and have seen how hard she worked. She has been an amazing teacher and is now trying to become a lawyer. She is an amazing person who always helps those around her. She is kind, giving, and always answers my calls, even when she’s cooking dinner. She listens to my complaints and my problems. She’s always there for me and so many other students. She would drive from Conrad to Richland every week so she could be there in case I needed her. Esther pushed me to do my scholarships and would bother me if I didn’t do them. I know she only did it for my benefit. Esther is the reason I got most of my scholarships. She’s the reason I successfully applied to my colleges. I am so thankful for everything she’s done for me and for everyone in Eagle Scholars.”
Win Tin Khin
Win Tin Khin achievement’s include perfect attendance at Conrad High School, being an IRC Youth Voices Author, and being selected as one of two students to participate in the Rooted in Communities Conference in New York. He was a member of Groundwork Dallas’s Green Team Conservation Corps, IRC’s Youth Food Justice Intern, IRC’s Academic Coaching Program, Journeys, and Lone Star Trail Building School. His proudest moment is “passing all my STAAR Tests.” He will continue his education at Richland College in the fall.
When asked to share one person who supported him throughout his education he chose his sister, Than Nwge Pwint. Win Tin said:
“My sister has always supported me from the start to the end. When I first got here, I didn’t know how to speak any English. She encouraged me to keep speaking English even if it’s not perfect. When I had math homework and I didn’t know how to do it, she helped me and showed me how to solve the problems. Even when she didn’t understand how the problems worked, she tried her best to figure them out and help me. I want to thank my sister for always believing in me. Without her, I would never have done what I’ve done today.”
Zar Khaing achievements include being the Class Treasurer. At Conrad Global Collegiate Academy, she was a member of the Boys and Girls Club, Eagle Scholars, Tennis, Chess Club, Golf Club, and Young Professionals in Finance. She received scholarship for Toyota and her proudest moment is “winning the Shark Tank competition at Young Professionals in Finance.” She plans to attend Texas Tech University in the fall.
When asked to share one person who supported her throughout her education she chose her mentor, Chloe Corbett. Zar Khaing said:
“When my family came to the United States as refugees, Mrs. Corbett was always there to help us. She'd come to our place just to check up on me and my family. When she came she would always take us out to eat and just spend quality time with us. To me, she is just like a mother and I have and always will regard her as my close family. If it weren't for her support and hard work, I wouldn't have gotten this far. She inspires me to be as caring as I can and to continue to work harder.”