School At Any Cost: Former Refugees Seek Better Lives At Kansas City's Community Colleges | KCUR

School At Any Cost: Former Refugees Seek Better Lives At Kansas City's Community Colleges

Apr 18, 2019

The Kansas City area is home to three agencies that work with the federal government to resettle people displaced from their home countries by war, conflict and persecution. Those agencies — Jewish Vocational Services, Della Lamb Community Services and Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas — welcome enough people to make refugee families a presence in the metro.

While not all resettled refugees find their way to a college campus, educators say those who do are highly motivated.

“They are the hardest-working people you will ever meet,” says instructor Ashley Lynd, who teaches English as a Second Language at Penn Valley Community College. “They face every obstacle under the sun, but they are more positive than most Americans, including myself.”

As KCUR discovered in a months-long reporting project, the challenges that refugee students confront are similar, but their lives and stories are vastly different.

Listen to the story of former refugee Souleymane Adam:

Barbara Shelly is a freelance contributor for KCUR 89.3. You can reach her at bshellykc@gmail.com.