19/August 2019

August 19, 2017 was a memorable day for members of the Bhutanese Community Association of Akron. The University of Akron hosted the BCAA Annual Festival 2017 in the Student Union Ballroom and several momentous events occurred that day. One of those events is described in another blog page and that was the surprise announcement by The University of Akron President, Matthew Wilson, that the University will begin sponsoring eight (yes 8!) annual scholarships for students whose families are of Bhutanese/Nepalese heritage and lived in refugee camps. Because of the tremendous educational and economic advantages that accrue to those who are able to achieve post secondary education, this new scholarship program was received very enthusiastically.

Before the 12:00 noon start time, 15 organization vendors set up tables to share information. These vendors included:

  • AxessPointe Community Health
  • Wurtz Insurance Exchange
  • Kirat Community Organization of Ohio
  • American Mortgage Service Company
  • Bhutanese Christian Society
  • Woven in Exile
  • DAWN Sewers
  • The University of Akron Admissions Office
  • The University of Akron International Office
  • Four Seasons Health Care
  • Tamang Community Society
  • Magar Community Society
  • Gurung Community Society
  • Greater Akron Hindu Sewa Samiti
  • Summit County Classics Auto Repair
  • International Institute of Akron
  • Village Discount Outlet
  • The Nepali Kitchen and Everest Nepali and Indian Restaurant served Nepali dishes to hungry people.

Among the highlights of the day were interviews of male and female elders by M. L. Schultze, Digital Editor/Reporter for WKSU-FM, NPR. She did an extensive series two years ago that aired on NPR on differences in the lives of Bhutanese refugees between Nepal camps and their new lives in Akron. Today she was interested in learning about how lives and responsibilities were changing for grandparents.

Speeches welcoming these new resident and emphasizing the importance of education for the youth were made by

  • T. Clifford Deveny, M.D. and President and CEO of Summa Health
  • Bronlynn Thurman, Akron Program Associate of the Knight Foundation
  • David James, Superintendent of the Akron Public Schools
  • Jennifer Austin, Academic Adviser for the College of Applied Science and Technology
  • Barbara Weinzierl, Chief of Staff to the President of the University of Akron
  • Matthew Wilson, President of The University of Akron

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