Summer research takes place with BACI

Burmese students work hard for BACI over their summer


Lian Sang nih hmantlak a pekmi asi

BACI member nih an caan donghnak cu BACI office ah presentation tuahnak in an dihter.

Sui Par, Foreign Language Writer

Over the summer some students may have slept in and enjoyed their break by going out and having fun, but there were a few SHS students who attended meetings, listened to instructions, and got to working.  Students join Burmese American Community Institute (BACI) because it’s a great environment for learning experiences, for college resumes, and for scholarships, according to junior Sara Laithang. She wanted to take the opportunity over the summer to challenge herself and go outside her comfort zone.

This is an organization that brings together some of the students from both SHS and PMHS. They attended the BACI summer program to collaborate and do some research on their break, while it also helps them to become leaders in their everyday life. Their slogan states “advocating, connecting, educating, and serving.” Every Burmese in high school can join, but they have to go through a process of interviews and show commitment.

Unlike Laithang, junior Mang Lian joined BACI due to the motivation from his parents. He applied online on their website along with 70 other people, but only half of them made it to the interview and eventually to become a member. According to Laithang and Lian the organization is not extremely hard to get into but some give up halfway through the process because of all the time consumption required.

“I’m glad my parents got me into this because I learned more about our Chin community,”Lian said.  “I also made new friends from a different school.”

During the summer program, the students got divided into six groups and did different research in a given amount of time. Two of the groups  focused on culture integration and college persistence. The projects required going to neighborhoods and talking to unfamiliar people. They also included asking them to take surveys about how much of an affect the Chin community has in that part of the neighborhood.

Their latest presentation was held at the BACI office located at 4925 Shelby St on August 2nd where they dressed formally, some in traditional attire. They had dinner at 5 and got on stage at around 6. They presented in front of a large audience of about 80 people, according to the two juniors. It was an evening where they presented  to the audience their findings and research. Many special guests were included in the audience. One of them was a person named David Lai who is an uprising star in the country of Burma.

“Seeing him was a surprise because it was unexpected,” Lian said.

Some people might have a negative outlook about joining this organization because of all the work that has to be put into it, but with their hard work and effort, rewards come. The students got $250 worth of scholarship money each, according to Laithang.

“Even though it is stressful and exhausting, it is all worth it,” Laithang said.