Nepalese Refugee Inspires Sen. Hwang at State Capitol

June 5, 2017

Hwang 2017-06-01 with Aiti Rai Trinity intern (1 of 5)

Sen. Tony Hwang on June 3 said he was inspired after meeting with Aiti Rai at the State Capitol.

Rai was a Nepalese refugee for the first 15 years of her life.  Her family escaped from political persecution.

Rai will be a Trinity College undergraduate this fall. She has been serving as a State Capitol intern in the Connecticut General Assembly during the 2017 legislative session.

“After hearing Aiti’s story, I know the ‘American Dream’ is alive and well,” said Hwang, who was born in Taiwan.  “Imagine your life in a hut made of bamboo and thatch. Imagine living without electricity, running water, plumbing or a refrigerator.  Imagine enduring such hardship for political, educational and economic freedom.  That was Aiti’s life when she lived in a refugee camp.”

Rai told Hwang how she dreamed of a better life, and in the United States, she had the chance to expand her dreams.

She earned her high school diploma, becoming the salutatorian at Hartford Public High School’s Law and Government Academy.

In 2015, Rai realized the dream of American citizenship.

“I wish Aiti nothing but the best,” Hwang said.  “I was born in Taiwan to parents that had escaped Communist China as teens and lived under martial law in Taiwan.  In coming to the United States, my family has lived and realized the American Dream.  I urged Aiti to continue to dream, work hard and seize opportunities.  There is nothing she cannot accomplish.”

*Sen. Hwang represents Easton, Fairfield, Newtown, Weston and Westport .

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