After living in a refugee camp in Thailand for six years of his life, the promise of greater opportunities in the U.S. keeps Logan High School Senior Myo Aung looking forward.
“I’m graduating,” Aung said. “I’m happy about that.”
Although his parents moved to the U.S. to provide their children with more opportunities, Aung said arriving in Salt Lake City was not an easy task. He had to learn a new language and embrace a new culture.
Learning English and fitting in were some of the hardest challenges Aung faced. In addition, according to Aung, he was bullied in third grade while living in Salt Lake City.
“I didn’t know any English and I was different, I guess,” Aung said. “We moved here (to Logan). I felt like I fit in.”
Aung’s older sister, Pan Pyue, said another challenge they faced was going to school and not being able to ask their parents for help.
“English is our second language,” Pyue said. “It’s kind of challenging to pass the grade or the classes because our parents, they don’t have a lot of education.”
According to an email sent to The Herald Journal from LHS Vice Principal Erick Markworth, the challenges Aung faced had caused him to fall behind in his credits, but through hard work, he was able to catch up and graduate.
The support from friends he made in Logan City School District and his family helped him feel at home. Although they were not always able to help him academically, Aung said his parents aided him by pushing him to be better.
“They were like, ‘If you want to live like us, then keep going and don’t go to school and stuff, because you’re not going to live a good life if you don’t go to school,” Aung said. “I was like, ‘I’ll go to school and I’ll give you guys a better life.’”
He said the sacrifice his parents made to bring him to the U.S. inspire him.
“When your parents move here to give you a better future, you need to take advantage of that,” Aung said.
One of the opportunities Aung has taken advantage of is studying and completing a pathway in auto collision while at LHS, and he plans to continue to complete his certification at Bridgerland Technical College.
Pyue said Aung is graduating because of his hard work, and if he continues to know what he wants, he will keep achieving his goals.
“He has planned it out throughout his years in high school and he knows his future,” Pyue said. “He knows what he wants to be and he has goals.”
Aung hopes to continue to grow in the automotive field to be able to provide a better life not just for him but his parents as well.
During his high school career, Aung said he has seen many students drop out, including students who came for better opportunities, and it makes him sad.
“I want them to not drop out, to graduate,” Aung said. “At least get a diploma, because when you get a diploma, you can do way more stuff than when you drop out of high school.”