Youth Stories Shine

Celebrating cultural heritage and finding belonging are vital to New American youth. The Asian Center’s youth programs connect students with one another, explore cultures, build skills, and provide one-on-one mentoring.

Our Untold Migrant Stories program partners with Lincoln Public Schools students, empowering immigrant and refugee youth to share their stories with the community. Students grow in confidence and artistic ability as they learn how to craft their stories through digital mediums, sharing their unique voice.

At our Spring 2024 Untold Migrant Stories Showcase, students shared about struggle, identity, and culture. About 200 guests visited the Lux Center for the First Friday event. People took in the student’s presentation boards, learning about various cultures represented in Lincoln. Many our student artists attended, available to share more about their projects.

Aila, an LPS middle school student and second-generation Bosnian immigrant, created an engaging presentation about Bosnian culture. She highlighted the Bosnian war of the 1990s, where her grandfather lost his life. Aila talked proudly about her Muslim heritage, sharing special aspects of her faith.

“I love to travel to Bosnia and visit my family! And there are so many beautiful mosques that I want to visit,” said Aila.

Later in the evening, guests gathered to watch video projects that the students created. Two students who contributed to the Lefler Middle School video project, Eh Julia and Ester, are second-generation immigrants from Thailand.

“We made this video to tell people about our culture. Working on this video helped me to build confidence in myself,” said Eh Julia.

“I think when people can learn about other cultural beliefs and we know each other better – it can help people see past hate and learn to love each other,” said Ester.

We whole-heartedly agree with Ester! Sharing culture is central to the Asian Center’s mission. Our youth are empowered when they share their cultures, and our community is strengthened by receiving youth stories.