Sarah Ariet Cham is a junior at SMSU and a first-generation student who is the daughter of Sudanese refugees. She has watched her relatives overcome many hardships and comes to SMSU majoring in education with an emphasis in youth-at-risk. She has selected this major precisely because she wants to help young people and make changes in our society. Sarah Ariet continues to be actively involved with her home community of Worthington. There she works with organizations that were created by women of color such as Seeds of Justice and Be the Change. These groups work for justice for marginalized groups in the community, such as women, children and immigrants. They have facilitated community forums on police brutality, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, Driver’s Licenses for All, and Education Equity. They also worked with the Minnesota Department of Health to bring COVID-19 testing to immigrant communities. They received the Pan-African Endowment grant, which has given them the opportunity to take youth on enriching and educational trips. They are currently working on creating a community center that will provide resources for healing. I am excited to see Sarah Ariet's impact on the campus and community as SMSU's Newman Civic Fellow.
I am a first-generation college student, an Anyuak woman from South Sudan, and most recently an American citizen. I was born in a refugee camp in Nairobi, Kenya to Ajulo Ochala and Dani Cham. Every day they fought to see the next day, so that I could live a life of freedom. Their selfless fight for my freedom, is the reason I fight for the freedom and justice of immigrant, youth, and people of color in my community. Seeds of Justice and Be the Change are two organizations that I am actively apart of. These were founded in Worthington, MN where I grew up, led by women of color, who are giving a voice and a platform to marginalized and otherwise silenced members of the community. We have facilitated community forums on police brutality, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, Driver’s License for All, and Education Equity. We worked with the Minnesota Department of Health to bring COVID-19 testing to our immigrant communities. We were granted the Pan-African Endowment grant which has given us the opportunity to take youth on enriching and educational trips. Our next vision is to create a community center that will provide resources for healing and liberation.