The Literature Council of Bhutan (LCOB) held a two-day convention on June 9 and 10, 2018 in Cincinnati Ohio, USA in collaboration with the Bhutanese Literature Group of Cincinnati, and the Bhutanese Community of Cincinnati (BCC) .
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LCOB works to promote the Nepali language and culture. Since its establishment in 1993, it has produced around 200 Nepali language teachers and educated 1000s of community members in the refugee camps, many of whom had never attended any schools, and were deprived of learning Nepali language.
LCOB published an annual magazine named “Kopila” to provide a forum for novice writers. It has transitioned its magazine publishing program to an online portal since 2009 at www.bhutaneseliterature.com The portal has become one of the most browsed online literature platforms for the Bhutanese people in diaspora.
One purpose of this convention was to honor long-term social workers who contributed invaluable time and service to uplifting the lives of Bhutanese refugees in the Eastern Nepal refugee camps.
A feature of the two-day event was the release of literary books authored by former citizens of Bhutan who now reside in different countries. The books comprise a collection of short stories and poetry by prominent writers.
A music album comprised of historical and social songs by Manoj Rai was also released during the Cincinnati convention. Manoj gave a heartfelt performance of a song about the early martyrs from the Lhotshampa population in southern Bhutan.
Speakers, performers, and guests were invited from Bhutan, India, Nepal, Australia, Canada, and many of the United States of America.
Organizers and participants alike were all impressed with the thoughts, emotions, and memories shared by those in attendance. The expressions of the human spirit contained in the books, stories, songs, poems, and dances which were shared at this convention will transcend the time and place that they were shared in Cincinnati on June 9 and 10, 2018.
In November of 2017 the Trustees of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation awarded a $15,000 challenge grant to the Himalayan Music Academy to produce a North Hill Music Festival to celebrate Akron's immigrant communities. As a challenge grant the HMA is expected to raise funds which the Knight Foundation will then match.
The North Hill Music Festival is organized to promote and preserve Nepali/Bhutanese traditional art, music, and dance; to expose the hidden talents and skills of the community's people, and to encourage, motivate, and preserve the arts and culture of the Nepali/Bhutanese people. The Festival will also strengthen relationships among Nepali and non-Nepali people and among the several immigrant populations in the Akron area. While promoting and preserving the music, art, and dance of immigrant populations, the Festival will also expose and guide youngsters to the value of traditional music, so that it can be carried to the next generations.
The frustrations experienced by Bhutanese artists who were confined in refugee camps for two decades of their lives should be mentioned. During this time from around 1991 through 2009 prospective musicians did not have opportunities to learn the physical skills to perform, nor did they have access to the instruments and equipment needed to practice their art. They had no opportunity to expose their hidden talents, even though they had the passion and could have developed the professionalism needed to be major contributors to their communities' cultural fabric.
Below, left is Puspa Gajmer, maestro and entrepreneur, who founded the Himalayan Music Academy and who has been the impetus for today's event. The van in the parking lot proudly shows the Himalayan Music Academy logo and name.
The following pictures show performers and audience members who came to contribute to the celebratory activities of this fund-raiser.
After having resettled in the United States just ten years ago, Damber Subba was sworn in as a new policeman in Akron, Ohio on May 4, 2018. He is the first member of the Akron Bhutanese/Nepalese community to achieve such an appointment. Being a policeman fits in with his long-term desire to help his community.
In order to be appointed as an Akron policeman, Mr. Subba had to complete a several months-long training program that began with a written examination, a test of his physical abilities, a drug test, a standard background check, and an interview with the police chief. As one of the twelve new recruits he attended 20 weeks of training at a police academy at Kent State University where he learned about laws and police procedures through academic study and real-life simulation activities.
As a former resident of Bhutan, Damber spent many years of his life in the Beldangi II refugee camp in Nepal after the Bhutan government conducted an ethnic cleansing of Lhotshampas who were living in southern Bhutan. After resettling in the United States, Damber served as an interpreter for Akron Children's Hospital, worked in a foundry, and took courses in nursing at Kent State University. While attending Kent State University, he was a recipient of the Kuhn Scholarship for Bhutanese Refugees.
Damber Subba is proud to be a member of the Akron Bhutanese/Nepalese community, and the Bhutanese/Nepalese community is proud of him and his achievements.
The Himalayan Music Academy sponsored a seminar on traffic laws and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The seminar was held at the North Hill branch of the Akron Public Library (183 East Cuyahoga Falls Avenue in Akron, Ohio).
Panalists included (left to right)
Alexandra Hull, Law Attorney
Farad Sethna, Immigration Lawyer
Kim Hoover, Judge
Mathew Browarek, Law Attorney
Panelists: left to right
Lloyd E. Ford, Akron Police Officer
Edd Wright, Law Attorney
John Clark, Magistrate
Picture 1: Shirley Simon, a law attorney, conducted the meeting.
Picture 2: April Paw served as interpreter for the Karen community.
Picture 3: An audience member asked several questions.
Picture 4: Dr. Terry Kuhn made some concluding remarks as April Paw summarized his comments; and he welcomed the resettled residents to the United States.
Picture 5: A small group posed for a quick "grip and grin" photo.
Summary of Advice Given at Seminar
Some crimes can get you deported under immigration law.
Assault, domestic violence
Multiple violations can trigger a review of your record
What may have been permissible in your previous country may not be legal in the US
In the US it is never permissible to drink and drive
In the US it is never permissible to fight, even with family members
In the US it is never permissible to carry a gun unless you have a license
In the US policemen want to help you. If you are stopped by a policeman
Be polite, stay calm, do not raise voice or shout.
Do exactly what the policeman tells you to do.
Treat the policeman with respect. The officer has discretion and might end up testifying in court if you go to trial. You want him/her on your side and supportive of you.
If you need to go to court, you will need a lawyer. The court might provide one for you.
If you need a lawyer, ask your friends if they know a good one.
Unless your English is very good, you need an interpreter.
If you have been the victim of a crime, check with a lawyer to see if you are eligible to apply for a T Visa or a U Visa.
Be sure your car is in good working order because police have right to top you if you don't
Wear seat belt, have working turn signals, headlights, taillights, turn signals
Even a crack in your windshield could be cause to stop you
Do not drink alcohol, do drugs and drive
DUI You cannot be released on bond if you have some other violation; if stopped for bad headlight and you have dui on record you cannot be released on bond.
You must have driver's license, proof of insurance, car in good working order, not outstanding tickets, show up for court if you get ticket (bring English-speaking friend).
Learn US rules
You need CCW (concealed carry weapon) license to have gun in your possession
You cannot drink and drive
You cannot fight and hit your family members
Small children must have appropriate car seat, properly installed
You need a safety plan for children if an adult will not be with them
An OVI is in the felony (serious) category (Operating Vehicle under the Influence of alcohol)
Can mean mandatory prison time and/or deportation
You cannot lend your car to someone who is unqualified to drive
Seriousness of crimes: aggravated murder, felony, misdemeanor, minor misdemeanor.
The US Immigration Department will decide where you will go if you are deported. It is unclear where Bhutanese refugees would go: Nepal? Bhutan? Other?
Panelists posed with members of the audience for a post-seminar group picture.
Ash Maya Subba, Mon Maya Rai, and Mongali Rai (weavers), Liz Kuhn (coordinator), Bersha Ghimirey and Nilam Ghimirey (interpreters) and Terry Kuhn (assistant coordinator) participated in the Children's Festival and Artists' Market at Spring Garden Waldorf School in Akron on Saturday, November 18, 2017. In addition to vendors, shoppers were entertained with musical performances by a choir and a very talented pianist. Vendors and shoppers could get a tasty lunch at the Garden Cafe.
Kyle Kutuchief, Akron program director of the Knight Foundation, gave introductory remarks at the 2017 Knight Arts Challenge ceremony at the Akron Civic Theatre on Tuesday, November 14, 2017, where the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation announced funding for 17 ideas from more than 1,000 submissions to “engage and enrich Akron” through arts activity.
Puspa Gajmer, composer, singer, guitar performer, and founder of the Himalayan Music Academy was one of the proud recipients. His proposal will create a North Hill music festival celebrating Akron’s immigrant communities. The festival will be professionally recorded.
In order to create the North Hill Music Festival, the Himalayan Music Academy received a $15,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The Akron Bhutanese community is proud of Puspa Gajmer and the Himalayan Music Academy.
Mongali Rai (seated in chair) and Mon Maya Rai (seated on floor) demonstrate back strap weaving at the Akron-Summit County Public Library on Saturday, November 11, 2017. The Akron Mini Maker Faire features demonstrations and exhibits of people and groups that make things. The Akron Bhutanese community displayed its talented weavers, shown above using a backstrap loom, a technique they brought with them from Bhutan and Nepal. Liz Kuhn, Bersha Ghimirey, and Terry Kuhn provided logistics and interpretation support for the demonstration.
The Captain's Chair (above left) was used to anchor the backstrap loom, Mon Maya, Bersha, Mongali, and Liz were discussing the setup (above middle), and many spectators stopped to watch the weaving activity. The products of their backstrap weaving can been seen at www.woveninexile.weebly.com
Seen above speaking in the Deuble Room on the Malone University campus in Canton, Ohio, Professor Elizabeth Patterson Roe is informing an audience of students, faculty, and interested guests about her 2017 sabbatical.
Dr. Roe worked with World Relief to learn about refugee resettlement. She was uniquely qualitifed in community development, international development, international social work, and qualitative research skills to study and then develop a model to empower refugees as they settle in the United States.
Refugees are people who have been forced to flee their country because of persecutio, war, or violence. They have well-founded fear of persecution because of their race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. They cannot return to the country they left because of war, ethnic, tribal, and/or religious violence.
She described what it would look like for a refugee to be empowered in the U.S. saying they would have English language skills, independence and financial security (jobs), and be able to help others. They would also have relationships within and outside their own refugee community.
For refugees to be empowered, they would have the authority and ability to earn an adequate income, to advance in a career, to speak English, and to have independent transportation. Along with those attributes they would have sufficient housing, educational opportunities, and confidence in negotiating the financial, legal, medical, social, and education systems available to people in the United States. Moreover, they would have confidence and self-sufficiency in conducting these activities.
Among the several barriers to refugee empowerment identified by Dr. Roe were transportaiton, mental health, oppression, lack of language, lack of independence, isolation, and even prejudices within the refugee community. Sometimes refugees face hostile and unwelcoming attitudes from US citizens, making refugees feel they are not regarded as deserving dignity and worth.
Pictured to the right of the young man is Kara Ulmer, director of the Akron office of World Relief, a nonprofit evangelical organization that helps refugees adjust to life in the U.S. Director Ulmer and World Relief were integratively supportive of Dr. Roe's sabbatical activities.
Dr. Roe's description of her sabbatical activities, that also included writing a journal article, developing a fact sheet on refugee resettlement, conducting interviews with refugees and knowledgeable sources, and assisting refugees and case management staff, was followed by enthusiastic applause from the audience members.
Teams from Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Minnesota, Ohio (Columbus, Cincinnati, and Akron), and Pennsylvania gathered to compete at the Goodyear Sports Complex in Akron on October 7 and 8, 2017. The tournament was sponsored by the BCAA Peace Zone Sporting Club, organized by Bharat Bista. Terry Kuhn served as special guest for the tournament.
A good time was had by all. Getting the electrical cords for the sound system untangled was a challenge for the technician and his helper.
The Patterson Community Center was the site of the Greater Akron Hindu Sewa Sammittee's observance of the Annual Women's Festival, Teej, on Saturday, August 26, 2017. This festive day is celebrated in the monsoon.
On this day women commemorate the mythological event for the purification of the body, mind, and soul. They endeavor to entangle their thoughts with the divine power in order to lead a righteous life. Other effects of this festival are that it revives their childhood memories, strengthens relationships among friends and families, and creates a platform for personality development, entertainment, and social harmony. This festival is celebrated in Bhutan, Nepal, and some parts of India. Teej is intended to strengthen the relationship between married couples: women pray for the long life of their husbands, and husbands feel special and reciprocate by being more loving and caring towards their wives.
The following candid snapshots capture some of the Akron event. One of the notable awards was presented to Narad Timsina, priest and community elder (he is speaking in third row:right picture)
Speaking at the Bhutanese Community Association of Akron's Annual Festival on Saturday, August 19, 2017, Matthew Wilson, President of The University of Akron, surprised everyone by announcing eight (8) new scholarships for students of Bhutanese/Nepalese heritage. The scholarships are "extra" in that they will apply toward tuition, fees, housing, and/or meals in addition to other scholarships and financial awards.
There will be
One (1) $5,000 scholarship for the 2018-2019 year
Two (2) $2,500 scholarships for the 2018-2019 year
Five (5) $1,000 scholarships for the 2018-2019 year
These scholarships will help students and their families pay for the expenses of going to college at The University of Akron. This represents a $15,000 commitment by The University of Akron to help Bhutanese/Nepalese families pay for their recipient to attend The University of Akron.
Before making this announcement President Wilson shared statistics showing that people with more education earned more weekly income. Data from The University of Akron indicate that students who have some college or a UA Associate Degree earn on the average $779 per week, those with baccalaureate degrees average $1,152 per week, and students who earn advanced degrees average $1,447 per week. Those numbers equate to annual salaries of $40,508, $59,904, and 75,244, respectively. Additional study has a positive Return On Investment (ROI) for The University of Akron graduates. More education pays!
August 19, 2017 was a memorable day for members of the Bhutanese Community Association of Akron. The University of Akron hosted the BCAA Annual Festival 2017 in the Student Union Ballroom and several momentous events occurred that day. One of those events is described in another blog page and that was the surprise announcement by The University of Akron President, Matthew Wilson, that the University will begin sponsoring eight (yes 8!) annual scholarships for students whose families are of Bhutanese/Nepalese heritage and lived in refugee camps. Because of the tremendous educational and economic advantages that accrue to those who are able to achieve postsecondary education, this new scholarship program was received very enthusiastically.
Before the 12:00 noon start time, 15 organization vendors set up tables to share information. These vendors included
AxessPointe Community Health
Wurtz Insurance Exchange
Kirat Community Organization of Ohio
American Mortgage Service Company
Bhutanese Christian Society
Woven in Exile
The University of Akron Admissions Office
The University of Akron International Office
Four Seasons Health Care
Tamang Community Society
Magar Community Society
Gurung Community Society
Greater Akron Hindu Sewa Samiti
Summit County Classics Auto Repair
International Institute of Akron
Village Discount Outlet
The Nepali Kitchen and Everest Nepali and Indian Restaurant served Nepali dishes to hungry people.
Among the highlights of the day were interviews of male and female elders by M. L. Schultze, Digital Editor/Reporter for WKSU-FM, NPR. She did an extensive series two years ago that aired on NPR on differences in the lives of Bhutanese refugees between Nepal camps and their new lives in Akron. Today she was interested in learning about how lives and responsibilities were changing for grandparents.
Speeches welcoming these new resident and emphasizing the importance of education for the youth were made by
T. Clifford Deveny, M.D. and President and CEO of Summa Health
Bronlynn Thurman, Akron Program Associate of the Knight Foundation
David James, Superintendent of the Akron Public Schools
Jennifer Austin, Academic Adviser for the College of Applied Science and Technology
Barbara Weinzierl, Chief of Staff to the President of the University of Akron
Matthew Wilson, President of The University of Akron
Scroll down this blog page to see snapshot photos of the August 19 event.
Parking is FREE in the Shrank Hall North parking deck (scroll down for directions)
Invited dignitaries will make brief remarks to the audience between dances and musical numbers. Come and meet these influential people who have helped our community.
Jenny Austin, Academic Adviser, College of Applied Science and Technology
David James, Superintendent of the Akron Public Schools
Bronlynn Thurman, Program Associate with the Knight Foundation
John Valle, Director of Neighborhood Assistance for the City of Akron
Don Walters, Mayor of Cuyahoga Falls
Barbara Weinzierl, Chief of Staff to the President of The University of Akron
Matthew J. Wilson, President and Professor of Law at The Universityh of Akron
Driving Directions to University of Akron Student Union
Driving directions: Heading North on Rt 8
L: Carroll St
L: Spicer St
R: E Exchange St
R: Carroll St
R: Shrank Hall North garage (240 Carroll St, Akron 44325, 330-972-7111)
Also identified as Parking Lot #37
W: Walk West on E Carroll St to Student Union, enter first door
Driving directions: heading South on Rt 8
M: E Buchtel Exit
R: E Buchtel
L: Spicer St
R: East Exchange St
R: Carroll St
R: Shrank Hall North garage (240 Carroll St, Akron 44325, 330-972-7111)
W: Walk West on E Carroll St to Student Union, enter first door
Driving directions from UA Student Union (Shrank Hall North deck) to Rt 8 NORTHbound
L: East Carroll St
L: East Exchange (pass under Rt 8)
L: Fountain (go through light then merge onto Rt 8)
Merge L: Rt 8 North
Driving directions from UA Student Union (Shrank Hall North deck) to Rt 8 SOUTHbound
L: East Carroll St
L: East Exchange (pass under Rt 8)
L: Fountain (go past marge lane to Rt 8 NORTH)
L: Carroll (cross Rt 8)
L: Goodkirk St
Merge L: Rt 8 South
Below is a map from Route 8 to the Shrank Hall North Parking deck and the Student Union
Suggestions for, and comments about, this website should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Picture above are some of the many sponsors of the Mero Dance Cup held at the Goodyear Theater in Akron Ohio.
Mero Dance Cup USA is an annual dance competition involving Bhutanese/Nepalese contestants. It is one of the most admired and famed dance reality shows in Bhutanese/Nepalese communities in the USA. This year, (Season II) 54 dancers participated from different states in contention of the top prize, a gold cup. Following are some candid snapshots taken on August 12, 2017 during the show.
Dhanman Subba, President of the Bhutanese Community Association of Akron and
Dhak (Rakesh) Bhattarai, Match Coordinator of the
Second Bhutanese Amateur Soccer League Tournament of the Bhutanese Community Association of Akron, Ohio
The following casual snapshots were all taken before the matches began on August 11, 2017. Keki Adhikari (left-center and right-bottom photos), famous Nepal actress, flew to Akron from Nepal to judge the Mero Dance Cup competition.
Jalan Niroula, class valedictorian, is at the podium delivering his speech to the seated guests on stage, the 2017 graduates, teachers, counselors, family, and well-wishers. He talked about the importance of being optimistic at he and his classmates face the future. His speech included contrasts in his life in a refugee camp with his current life in Akron. He described how his life has improved since arriving in the United States (except for Trump) and that his future major in Computer Engineering at the University of Akron will position him, and his family, for the future.
At left Jalan Niroula and Diamond Lauderdale move their tassels to commemorate the completion of high school. Pictured on the right Jalon is flanked by his mother, grandfather, and aunt.
The Bhutanese/Nepali community was well-represented in the 2017 graduating class. The TOP TEN students, based on academic achievement, included eight members of the refugee population. Here are names of the Top Ten.
1 Jalan Niroula
2 Dhanapati Pokhrel
3 Krishna Chuwan
4 Bir Man Gomden
5 Moni Bhattarai
6 Pradip Rai
7 Amit Baniya
8 Ashok Tamang
9 Zoran Malinic
10 Shyann Anderson
Congratulations to all North High School graduates, and special commendation to these high achievers!
The Himalayan Music Academy sponsored a cultural event to promote and preserve Nepali traditional music, dance, and art. It was also an effort to expose the hidden talents and skills of the Nepali community's people so that they are encouraged and motivated to preserve Nepali culture. As are all events, this was also an opportunity to strengthen the relationship with local people, Nepali and non-Nepali alike.
The program was conducted in the Auditorium of North High School located at 985 Gorge Boulevard in Akron, Ohio.
During the two decades of life in reguee camps, p;rospective musians did not have opportunities to cultivate or to expose their hidden talents. This event showcased these talents through performances of voice, guitar, piano, bamboo flute, harmonium, and dance.
Don Walters, Mayor of Cuyahoga Falls, welcomed both the attendees and the Nepali musicians, expressing his appreciation for their talents and the opportunities that open for the newly settled immigrants. He noted that many have obtained citizenship after waiting for the probationary time period and passing the U. S. Citizenship Test. After speaking, his took his place in the audience and enjoyed watching the talented performers.
During the program, a new solo album by Puspa Gajmer was released. It is called "AAWAZ" meaning voice. The album includes 6 songs, all composed and sung by Mr. Gajmer.
Among the 43 outstanding high school seniors who received scholarships on April 27, 2017 were four from the Lhotshampa (Nepalese/Bhutanese) community in Akron. We are very proud of their scholastic achievement and wish them success in their future schooling.
Nar Subba -- after months of planning, remodeling, negotiating leases, procuring loans, getting building plans and approvals, construction, and licensing with the health department -- now has a greatly expanded grocery store. Jim Oberdorfer and Majnu Rastogi planned the Grand Opening and Jim was very helpful in organizing the store's expansion.
This opening was a celebration of an immigrant success story for a Bhutanese refugee family in Akron, the "Welcoming City." Many people stopped by to meet the Subba family, sample Bhutanese food, and check out the many products available from around the world.
In the offices of World Relief at 647 E Market Street in Akron, a special meeting was held to share Malone University’s opportunities for new Americans, former refugees, friends, clients, and neighbors. It is a welcoming community and Malone would like to offer more educational opportunities to international students from abroad and to students from refugee communities now living in the United States. It would like potential students to be aware of the advantages of attending a small liberal arts college and of the many scholarship possibilities and financial aid resources it has to offer.
Mark Seymour, Vice President for Enrollment Management and Financial Aid spoke to the gathering of people who have been active with Akron area refugee populations. Dr. Seymour said that Malone University President, David King, is interested in having refugee students attend Malone because their attendance would be underline the social justice underpinnings of Malone and enhance the diversity of student representation on the campus.
To that end, Malone is contemplating creating several scholarships for both domestic and international foreign-born students. There are many advantages for students who attend small, liberal arts colleges. Some of those include a faculty whose primary mission is to teach students rather than conduct research, a more intimate educational experience, and learning resources such as tutoring and writing assistance.
For many students Malone is more affordable than they think. Most qualifying domestic-based students can qualify for government aid such as the Ohio College Opportunity Grant, the Federal Pell Grant, a Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, a Federal Direct Student Loan, a TEACH Grant, performing a Federal Work Study job, a Federal PLUS Loan for parents, or any of the Academic Scholarships for which students would apply and receive based on their academic achievement or special talents. For qualifying former refugees who want to commute to Malone and live at home, the university will work with them to arrange a financial aid package that can make Malone affordable, and possibly allow a student to attend using only financial assistance and not personal funds. For students that want to live on campus, the cost is higher and requires students to fund a part of their education with payments from themselves or their families. Malone can also assist with loan repayment after graduation depending on the students personal situation.
The group discussed ways in which Malone University’s message could be communicated to potential students and their parents. Some of the suggestions included meeting with groups of high school juniors at North High School, arranging visits of youth groups from local churches to the Canton campus.
In attendance were
[Top Row: L-R] Elizabeth Patterson Roe (Associate Professor of Social Work at Malone University), Karen Ulmer (Office Director at World Relief), and Susan Wuscher (Interim Director of Refugee Resettlement at the International Institute of Akron)
[Bottom Row: L-R] Dianette Gilbert (World Relief Intern), Samuel Biswa (Nepali Pastor and World Relief Case Worker), and Doug Wurtz (respected friend and long-term mentor of refugees).
[Not pictured] Terry Kuhn (mentor and adviser to Bhutanese Refugees) and Cindy Wurtz, (respected friend and long-term mentor of refugees).
Kyle Kutuchief, Akron Program Directior for the Knight Foundation, welcomes guests and introduces Joe Cartright.
Under auspices of the Knight Foundation, Joe Cartright delivered an analytical presentation and led a Q&A discussion on why the economies of US cities have prospered or languished over time. Speaking in the spacious Corbin Rotunda of the John S Knight Center in downtown Akron, Mr. Cartright shared his considerable knowledge of regional economics and development strategies.
He described several factors that have attracted smart, talented, and educated 25- to 34-year-olds with 4-year college degrees to cities. He illustrated his comments with easy-to-understand slides.
Factors that attract young, talented, educated residents include having neighborhoods that are close-in with mixed residential and businesses sections. These young residents tend to live in neighborhoods that are within 3 miles of the central business district (CBD) of economically vibrant cities. These neighborhoods tend to be walkable, integrated, and have lower levels of economic and racial segregation.
Mr. Cartright’s data showed that economic prosperity thrives where there are enclaves of talented, educated people.
These prosperous areas have also been open to immigrants.
Joe ended his presentation with a Question-and-Answer session in which a panel and audience members were encouraged to ask questions and share their ideas about how cities might be revitalized.
Jalan Niroula and his mother, Bishnu, pause for a photo before the Optimist Club luncheon at the New Era Restaurant in Akron.
Jalan Niroula reads his essay on the required topic of “Chasing Optimism in the Face of Challenges.” He described three obstacles that he has faced in his life. One was how his world view changed from when he was living in a refugee camp in Nepal to when he started living in the United States of America. A second obstacle was coping with his father’s mental disability which required him and his brothers to live in foster care. The third was learning a new language quickly. In dealing with these obstacles, he found optimism in his education and learning.
Jalan receives his first-place certificate from Richard L. Buchanan.
With more than 95,000 members in 3,200 clubs, Optimist International is one of the largest and most active community service organizations in North America. In addition to holding essay and oratorical contests for high school students, club members volunteer their free time to help complete environmental projects, tutor children, sponsor sports teams, help the elderly, and participate in substance abuse prevention programs.
Jalan’s essay will be forwarded for competition at the Optimist Club District level later in the spring of 2017.
Rachel Tecca, Principal of North High School, introduces the topic of how North High School’s curriculum will be organized to focus on college and career academies beginning in Fall 2017. All students will be provided with opportunities to pursue their interests and passions related to high demand careers in Northeast Ohio. This cooperative effort is sponsored by the Akron Public Schools, Ford Next Generation Learning, and Conxusneo.
The purpose of this dramatic reorganization is to increase student engagement, to make learning rigorous and relevant, and to help prepare all students for college and careers.
The Academy of Health & Human Services will offer options in biomedical sciences, allied Health, Early Childhood Education, and Healthcare Operations.
The Academy of Global Technology & Business will offer options in Marketing & Entrepreneurship, HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning), Information Support Services, and Programming & Software Development.
To make learning more relevant, student learning in the academies will be centered around a career theme of the student’s choice. All students will explore academy pathways as freshman.
Students will be learning in small groups.
Those who attended the meeting sat in language groups, and interpreters kept everyone informed throughout the session.
Dhanman Subba, President of the Bhutanese Community Association of Akron, attended the meeting.
Interpreters were busy throughout the meeting.
Fall 2017 promises to bring new and exciting changes to how North High School organizes and provides instruction for its students.
The newly-elected officers of the Bhutanese Community Association started meeting with significant constituencies early in their tenure. The purpose of these meetings was to introduce themselves, review the history of BCAA’s relationship with their organization, and to discuss how BCAA can work to further the purposes of both organizations.
The first of these meetings was held with Michael Byun and staff at Asian Services In Action (ASIA). Other scheduled meetings were with the International Institute of Akron (IIA), the Knight Foundation, the City of Akron, and the University of Akron. At the meeting with representatives from the University of Akron and the City of Akron Mayor’s Office, discussions began about the venue for the 2017 BCAA Annual Festival.
Pictured above in the Knight Foundation conference room are (left to right): Billa Angdembay (Trustee), Dil Rimal (Senior Adviser), Kyle Kutuchief (Akron Program Director of the Knight Foundation), Dhanman Subba (President), Rudra Rimal (Vice President), and Terry Kuhn (Statutory Agent).
From Left to Right: Dhanman Subba [President], Rudra Rimal [Vice President], Bishnu Rai [Chief BCAA Election Committee], Bhim Pokharel [Secretary], Billa Angembay [Trustee], Bishnu Kumar Subba [Past-President]; new officers not pictured include Prakash Neopaney [Treasurer], Dilli R Ghimirey [Assistant Treasurer], Bal B Gajmer [Trustee], Harka D Rai [Trustee], and Tek Gurung [Trustee].
In announcing the results of the 2016 BCAA Election, Chief Rai stated that special care was taken to conduct the entire election in a free, fair, transparent, and democratic manner. Voting and vote counting was conducted under the observation of three observers [Bob Radl, Doug Wurtz, and Terry Kuhn].
Election committee members who worked tirelessly and diligently included Arjun Taman, Bhim Dhungana, Bir B Tamang, Hem Rai, Phurba Tamang, Robit Sinchuri, and Sudhan Rai. Election volunteers included Damber, Kumari Rai, Govind Phuyel, Santosh Niraula, Prem Pokhrel, Mani Raj Gole, Gajal Subba, Sandsh Tamang, Aarati Parajuli, Kalpana Bhattarai, and Sisi Subba.
Contact information for the new officers can be found on the “Officers” page at www.bcakron.org
Selected BCAA activities are chronicled in this blog.