Our Moving Stories: Episode 13 — Keun-wooConversation with: Keun-woo.
This podcast is hosted by Bruno Villegas and Ariadne Pacheco.
Kenu-woo confides, like so many children of immigrants, confides that “home is complicated.” Born in Iowa of South Korean born parents, she had resided in several states by the time the family settled in El Paso when she started kindergarten. Though she spends most of her childhood in El Paso, she always felt like an outsider. As one of just a handful of Asian children, most of her friends are Latines. She reflects on what contributed to a sense of belonging by first sharing what made her feel excluded – like judgmental comments around what she brought in for lunch. Conversely, peers who approached her with open curiosity, contributed to a sense of connection.
She shares her experience with Teach for America in the Bronx where she finds herself being one of the few Asian folks with whom her largely black and brown preschoolers have interacted. While at first, she was inclined to minimize her own migration background, she comes to realize that a shared experience with most of her students was their moving stories—something almost all her students could share and relate with.