Graduation Week: Tho Paw - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Graduation Week: Tho Paw

Posted: Updated:

KENNEWICK, WA - A Kennewick High School senior is taking her teachers' inspiration and using it to help future students.

After civil war broke out in her home country of Myanmar, Tho Paw and her family moved to Thailand to live in a refugee camp. After years of living there, Tho's father decided to move them all to the United States for the chance at a better life.

"On my way to America everything was so different," Tho explained. "Since you live in the refugee camp you don't have electricity, you don't have a bed to sleep on, you don't have a toilet to go to or spoon or fork to eat with." 

Despite the challenges she faced, it didn't take Tho very long to make new friends and start picking up on the English language. She credits all the teachers who have helped her along the way for her success. Now, she says, they inspired her to want to become a teacher herself.

"They helped me so much, and now I want to help other kids, especially refugees and kids that don't know how to speak English," she said.

Tho is part of the National Honor Society and a member of the school soccer team. She also started her own soccer team with members of the Tri-Cities Korean community, and involved in the Early Education Program at the Tri-Tech Skills Center.

Tho plans on attending WSU Tri-Cities after graduation and majoring in education.