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SPPS Bilingual Educator Lead Receives State of MN Outstanding Refugee Award

Hskushee receivng her award

Hsakushee Zan, a bilingual educator lead with Saint Paul Public Schools’ Office of Multilingual Learning, has been honored with the State of Minnesota's Outstanding Refugee Award in the category of Entrepreneurship. The Entrepreneurship Award uplifts individuals who contribute to their communities in business, the arts or education.

Minnesota celebrates the courage, resilience and entrepreneurship of refugees, who make the state a better place to live.

Hskushee was one of 10 individuals who was honored in the 2022-2023 awards. The department honored the award winners during a Tuesday, Oct. 24 ceremony at the Minnesota History Center.

“Refugees who come to the United States to make a good life for themselves and their families have known great hardship and great hope,” said Human Services Commissioner Jodi Harpstead. “It gives me great joy to recognize the achievements of refugees who have done so much to make Minnesota a better place.”

People with refugee status leave their home countries because their governments are unable or unwilling to protect them when their lives are in danger from persecution because of race, religion, nationality, social group or political opinions. Many come to Minnesota to start new lives and make significant contributions. In 2022, Minnesota welcomed 584 individuals from 17 countries through the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program.

Hskushee came to the United States from Thailand after fleeing Myanmar and now makes her home in St. Paul.

Nominations for the 2024 Outstanding Refugee Awards are expected to open later this year.

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