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PHOTOS: Faces facilitating a community discussion

  • Maddie Stewart-Boldin<br/>Born in Ohio<br/><br/>Growing up, Stewart-Boldin was taught by her parents the important of diversity, but "as we grow older we have to learn what we believe in on our own," she said. The Concord High School junior is the president of the "Be The Change" club at her school where her emphasis is on working toward leadership to bridge cultural divides. <br/><br/>Portraits of people on the panel at the "Connecting Concord's Diverse Community," <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

    Maddie Stewart-Boldin
    Born in Ohio

    Growing up, Stewart-Boldin was taught by her parents the important of diversity, but "as we grow older we have to learn what we believe in on our own," she said. The Concord High School junior is the president of the "Be The Change" club at her school where her emphasis is on working toward leadership to bridge cultural divides.

    Portraits of people on the panel at the "Connecting Concord's Diverse Community,"

    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff) Purchase photo reprints at PhotoExtra »

  • Sandrine Ndetah, 16.<br/>Born in Cameroon<br/><br/>At 13, she traveled from Cameroon by herself to meet her father who had emigrated to the US 10 years earlier. "You live with all these people for all your life and you have to walk away," she said of the family she had to leave back at home. Now a senior at Concord High School, she reflects on the difficulty of her transition despite English being one of her native languages and encourages patience in listening and reaching out. <br/><br/>Portraits of people on the panel at the "Connecting Concord's Diverse Community," <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

    Sandrine Ndetah, 16.
    Born in Cameroon

    At 13, she traveled from Cameroon by herself to meet her father who had emigrated to the US 10 years earlier. "You live with all these people for all your life and you have to walk away," she said of the family she had to leave back at home. Now a senior at Concord High School, she reflects on the difficulty of her transition despite English being one of her native languages and encourages patience in listening and reaching out.

    Portraits of people on the panel at the "Connecting Concord's Diverse Community,"

    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff) Purchase photo reprints at PhotoExtra »

  • Jane Yen, 16<br/>Born in Uganda<br/><br/>She arrived to the United States from conflict-torn South Sudan when she was six; she didn't understand the food, the snow or the language. Ten years later, stories about trying to figure out a refrigerator are easily told over the stories of trying to understand the world she lived in back at home that had her and her family running in the middle of the night for cover from a firefight. "I have learned to speak and adapt to the system and I'll always remember the people that helped," she said. <br/><br/>Portraits of people on the panel at the "Connecting Concord's Diverse Community," <br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

    Jane Yen, 16
    Born in Uganda

    She arrived to the United States from conflict-torn South Sudan when she was six; she didn't understand the food, the snow or the language. Ten years later, stories about trying to figure out a refrigerator are easily told over the stories of trying to understand the world she lived in back at home that had her and her family running in the middle of the night for cover from a firefight. "I have learned to speak and adapt to the system and I'll always remember the people that helped," she said.

    Portraits of people on the panel at the "Connecting Concord's Diverse Community,"
    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff) Purchase photo reprints at PhotoExtra »

  • Bhagirath Khatiwada<br/>Born in Bhutan<br/><br/>"People always look for safety, no matter what," he said trying to explain what drives the immigrant experience.  It was what took him from his country to the "schools under trees" of the refugee camps in Nepal. Now as a caseworker for Lutheran Social Services and studying for his masters in public administration at UNH, Khatiwada encourages finding that safety (keeping those unseen problems of language and isolation familiar to an immigrant) with the virtues of an invested community. <br/><br/>Portraits of people on the panel at the "Connecting Concord's Diverse Community," <br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

    Bhagirath Khatiwada
    Born in Bhutan

    "People always look for safety, no matter what," he said trying to explain what drives the immigrant experience. It was what took him from his country to the "schools under trees" of the refugee camps in Nepal. Now as a caseworker for Lutheran Social Services and studying for his masters in public administration at UNH, Khatiwada encourages finding that safety (keeping those unseen problems of language and isolation familiar to an immigrant) with the virtues of an invested community.

    Portraits of people on the panel at the "Connecting Concord's Diverse Community,"
    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff) Purchase photo reprints at PhotoExtra »

  • Almedin Dzelic<br/>Born in Bosnia<br/><br/>"It's hard enough moving from a city to another city as a citizen," Dzelic said punctuating his story that starts with leaving his country because of a civil war at 12 to finishing his seventh and current year as a Concord police officer. There were times decisions were made as a family and there were times when he as the oldest of three had to decide. The process is confusing to those going through it and Dzelic says that reaching out is instrumental. <br/><br/>Portraits of people on the panel at the "Connecting Concord's Diverse Community," <br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

    Almedin Dzelic
    Born in Bosnia

    "It's hard enough moving from a city to another city as a citizen," Dzelic said punctuating his story that starts with leaving his country because of a civil war at 12 to finishing his seventh and current year as a Concord police officer. There were times decisions were made as a family and there were times when he as the oldest of three had to decide. The process is confusing to those going through it and Dzelic says that reaching out is instrumental.

    Portraits of people on the panel at the "Connecting Concord's Diverse Community,"
    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff) Purchase photo reprints at PhotoExtra »

  • Maddie Stewart-Boldin<br/>Born in Ohio<br/><br/>Growing up, Stewart-Boldin was taught by her parents the important of diversity, but "as we grow older we have to learn what we believe in on our own," she said. The Concord High School junior is the president of the "Be The Change" club at her school where her emphasis is on working toward leadership to bridge cultural divides. <br/><br/>Portraits of people on the panel at the "Connecting Concord's Diverse Community," <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)
  • Sandrine Ndetah, 16.<br/>Born in Cameroon<br/><br/>At 13, she traveled from Cameroon by herself to meet her father who had emigrated to the US 10 years earlier. "You live with all these people for all your life and you have to walk away," she said of the family she had to leave back at home. Now a senior at Concord High School, she reflects on the difficulty of her transition despite English being one of her native languages and encourages patience in listening and reaching out. <br/><br/>Portraits of people on the panel at the "Connecting Concord's Diverse Community," <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)
  • Jane Yen, 16<br/>Born in Uganda<br/><br/>She arrived to the United States from conflict-torn South Sudan when she was six; she didn't understand the food, the snow or the language. Ten years later, stories about trying to figure out a refrigerator are easily told over the stories of trying to understand the world she lived in back at home that had her and her family running in the middle of the night for cover from a firefight. "I have learned to speak and adapt to the system and I'll always remember the people that helped," she said. <br/><br/>Portraits of people on the panel at the "Connecting Concord's Diverse Community," <br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)
  • Bhagirath Khatiwada<br/>Born in Bhutan<br/><br/>"People always look for safety, no matter what," he said trying to explain what drives the immigrant experience.  It was what took him from his country to the "schools under trees" of the refugee camps in Nepal. Now as a caseworker for Lutheran Social Services and studying for his masters in public administration at UNH, Khatiwada encourages finding that safety (keeping those unseen problems of language and isolation familiar to an immigrant) with the virtues of an invested community. <br/><br/>Portraits of people on the panel at the "Connecting Concord's Diverse Community," <br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)
  • Almedin Dzelic<br/>Born in Bosnia<br/><br/>"It's hard enough moving from a city to another city as a citizen," Dzelic said punctuating his story that starts with leaving his country because of a civil war at 12 to finishing his seventh and current year as a Concord police officer. There were times decisions were made as a family and there were times when he as the oldest of three had to decide. The process is confusing to those going through it and Dzelic says that reaching out is instrumental. <br/><br/>Portraits of people on the panel at the "Connecting Concord's Diverse Community," <br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

One at a time, the people at the front of the room introduced themselves. Each of them told carefully worded stories about the journeys that got them to that chair. Relaying their experiences was harder, more emotional at some points than others, but they presented so as to open the floor to discussion at the “Connecting Concord’s Diverse Community” event on Saturday afternoon.

The panel consisted of the faces seen here along with some of the words and experiences they spoke about to the group in the spirit of making Concord a more welcoming place to immigrants.

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