Lumiere Sidonie

University of Denver - 2021

“As a refugee in the United States, who escaped the horrors of war,poverty and sought an opportunity to improve oneself through the power of education, I understand the struggle and the fear that would be stirring in the refugee and immigrant communities at this time in our history. Refugees and immigrants are not a threat to the United States or the world, but rather, a manifestation of a hope and a broken dream that’s finding its way to be rebuilt. When I was in Congo DRC, poverty and war tampered with my hope, dream, and opportunity for a better future. I lacked the resources to succeed, thus I felt hopeless and abandoned. I felt as though I was destined to experience poverty, war, and death. The future showed no horizon and no opportunity for improvement. I was removed from school due to lack of money for school fees, and my family experienced food scarcity. I was in the pit of hunger and poverty. My father was introduced to a refugee asylum and the United States embassy which assisted refugees flee the grip of poverty and war. After years of waiting for assistance, we were given the opportunity to arrive to the US. My dreams became alive. My strength to assist those in the shoes I once wore was fueled. Refugees and immigrants should be assisted because they are a hope that one can face the struggles of poverty, war, and hunger, and still persevere to seek a better opportunity. The American tapestry consists of people of different background, struggle, and victory. Refugees and immigrants, such as myself, contribute to the pattern of this tapestry. No one deserves a life of hopelessness and abandonment, not even refugees and immigrants. They should be empowered and given the opportunity to pursue their dreams like I was. I am a refugee that is pursuing my dream of attending college to assist those that are still wearing the shoes I once wore. I will work to provide the same opportunity to refugees and immigrants so they can reach their full potential.”