During my first trip to Vickery Meadow and the Heart House offices, I met Mawli Sui. While serving as a volunteer at our Park Lane (3rd-5th Grade) site, I quickly noticed Mawli’s energy, as well as the strong bonds she had formed with her friends.
For a few weeks, that was all I could find out about her. She, like many Heart House students, needed time to adjust to my presence and make sure she could trust me before she opened up any further. Luckily for me, that time eventually came – and when it did, I realized what a fascinating story Mawli’s was.
Mawli was born in Lungtar, a city in northeastern Burma’s Chin state. Burma’s recent past has been characterized by political instability, civil war, and various human rights abuses. In the wake of these chaotic happenings, a serious refugee crisis has developed, creating millions of displaced people – among them, Mawli’s family.
In 2009, her family began a new life in America, settling down in Dallas’ diverse Vickery Meadow community. Here in America, her father works for a food-service provider, and her mother repairs cell phones. She has a baby brother, Samuel, who will turn 3 in September.
“When I first came to America, I was scared and nervous,” Mawli told me, “I was shy because I didn’t really know anybody, and I couldn’t speak any English.” Fortunately, after seven years as a Heart House student, she doesn’t feel that way anymore.
Having nearly mastered the English language, she now excels academically. She has shown a penchant for math and science, and has recently been accepted to D.A. Hulcy S.T.E.A.M. School as a sixth grader. S.T.E.A.M. is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics, and the program grooms competitive students for career paths in these areas: “I applied for S.T.E.A.M. because a great education is very important to me, and because I want to make my parents proud.”
In addition to becoming an academic achiever, Mawli is also the only English-speaker in her family. She often uses her skills to help her parents with a plethora of tasks, ranging from applying for citizenship to visiting the bank.
In her spare time, Mawli enjoys playing soccer and spending time with her friends, of which she has many. As a leader in her community, she is admired and respected by nearly all of her peers, and serves as a role model for many young children in Vickery Meadow.
At Heart House, we pride ourselves on Raising Leaders every day, and Mawli is just one example. During her time as a Heart House student, she has been able to develop her English and academic skills, while also gaining a strong foothold in her community.
By providing children like Mawli with opportunities for success, we’re helping to create a safer, more enriching environment for the residents of Vickery Meadow. We’re changing the status quo here in DFW, and we invite you to join us. On September 17, donate to us online as part of North Texas Giving Day. When you do, you’ll be helping to change the
lives of young leaders like Mawli.
After studying at D.A. Hulcy S.T.E.A.M. School this year, Mawli hopes to be accepted to another school where she will be challenged academically.