“If you were a brand, what would your motto be?”

I was asked this question in a summer internship interview.

Hi, my name is Abikaila Ki, and I am from refugee camp known as Mae Ra Moe located near Thai-Burma Border. Growing up there, I felt trapped within the camp because I couldn’t leave due to the strict law of the Thai government. When I was 8 years old, a tiny local library was built up on the hillside. People will climb the muddy stairs with their bare feet. I would go there everyday during recess.

One day I encounter the children’s book called The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister. This book changed my life and I fell in love with reading. Little did I know that one day I will be working in the library. When my family resettle in the US to rebuild our lives, we struggled as we tried to navigate the new system. Fast forward to my education journey, I am known for being rebellious in my family as I thrive for higher education.

Overall, I am grateful for what Warner Pacific University has to offer me. Not only did I demonstrate that I belong here, I was also given the opportunity to work as a library circulation assistant. I appreciate the school that knows me by my name and allows me to be part of this diverse community. Being able to help my Karen people would be a dream come true, especially the women’s organization back in the refugee camp that I came from. My career goal is to be able to work for United Nations.

So, if I were a brand, my motto would be “Take a Chance.” As each one of us decides in life what to wear to match the weather, what college we want to go to, or what we want to major in, we need to take a chance. Take risks to explore different cultures. Stay curious and hunger for education even if it requires you to move to a different place. Allow yourself to learn and flourish.

Take a chance.