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Burmese Refugees Among C-NS Class of 2021

For three Cicero-North Syracuse High School Class of 2021 students, the steps they take when they cross the graduation stage this June will be the final ones in a journey of refuge and realization. C-NS Seniors Dimi Mu, Lydia Par and Van Bik are all Burmese refugees whose families came to the United States in search of better lives when they were just children. The three young people are also the first ones in their respective families planning their next journeys as college students.

The three students are from the Chin State in Myanmar where members of ethnic communities have often been mistreated by the government. The Chin people suffered torture, rape, forced labor, and restrictions on expression and religious freedom among other abuses.  Due to these dangerous conditions, the families of the students fled their country seeking refuge in the United States.

Lydia Roldan is an English as a New Language Teacher at Cicero-North Syracuse High School. Before coming to C-NS, Lydia was a middle school teacher in a different district and actually taught two of the students, Van Bik and Lydia Par, there before they also came to the NSCSD. As such, Lydia has been able to see the young people grown and flourish in their new lives.

“As the people of Myanmar continue to suffer abuse due to the recent military coup, these students and families are especially grateful for the opportunity for a better life and future,” Roldan said. “Everything that their families have sacrificed and worked for has paid off.  Being part of the class of 2021 is a dream come true for these students and their families.”

In addition to meeting the requirements necessary for high school diplomas, two of the students, Van Bik and Lydia Par, have also earned the prestigious New York State Seal of Biliteracy on their diplomas.

The students will be attending Le Moyne College, Onondaga Community College and SUNY Cortland in the fall of 2021. Congratulations to these outstanding members of the C-NS Class of 2021!