A Refugee Youth Searches for Freedom

Author: Tesfaye Rezene

With everything I owned strapped to the back of a donkey, my cousin and I began the long journey toward Eritrea’s southern border when I was 14 years old. We were afraid that we would be trapped in military service, so we made the choice to leave everything we love in return for freedom.

I wanted a chance to make my own decisions about my future. I knew I needed to leave in order to have any kind of opportunity. I would have never been able to continue my education.

I spent 3 years in a refugee camp before I was accepted into the U.S. Unaccompanied Refugee Minor program. It was hard to feel like an outsider. I missed home but LSS never gave up on me. Recently, I graduated from Penn State with a degree in Political Science. I studied abroad in Berlin and London and traveled to Switzerland to learn about the UN. Today, I work as a refugee case manager to help others like me.

Tesfay is one of the millions of youth who have been forced to flee their homes in absence of their loved ones. Your support grants these youth an opportunity and fosters resilience.

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