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An immigrant's take: living in Milwaukee

Paul Calhoun

As nations around the globe are facing an immigration crisis, here in the U.S., there's a debate about how to handle the surge of refugees seeking safety from oppressive governments.

And right now in Milwaukee, hundreds -- if not thousands -- of refugees live among us, including a large population of children and teenagers attending public schools around the city.

88Nine is bringing you stories from high school students who have traveled the world, in some cases putting themselves directly in danger, in search of better lives here in Milwaukee.  Together with Know Thyself, 88Nine presents the "We Are Here" Project.

Listen to an interview and read a personal from a student below.

Us who come here, we don't know about guns. - Biluge Ntabala, Milwaukee High School of the Arts

Biluge Ntabala 

Kigule, Rwanda

I'm a young girl who will always fight for a better life. I will not let my past control my future, but will not forget my past because it makes me who I am. I value kindness, respect, and equality.

I grew up in a small country east of Congo that's called Rwanda. A place that I call my beloved home. I can still smell the rich soup that my mom made on a special day. Once a month, my father will walk through the door in a suit holding a bag and his work black bag. We will all run up to greet him then take the bags. I always wanted the bag because I knew there was food in it.

I will never forget the twelve great years in Rwanda. Every morning I will be awakened by the singing of the birds. If there was a lot of animal voices I knew I was up before 8. I never needed an alarm to tell me that it time to get ready for school.

I loved the love that was shown to everyone.

Here it quiet and everyone is concerned about safety but still America is a place that a lot of people want to be. My parents started the process of coming here in 2000. There was a war going on in a village in Congo. People were starting their lives over and over. My parents decided to move from Rwanda.

For even more interviews, photos and essays, visit the We Are Here official website.

Director of Digital Content | Radio Milwaukee