Two Liberians whose families escaped civil war in the 1990s and sought refuge in the US have been elected to office in the states of Colorado and Rhode Island respectively.
Naquetta Ricks won a seat in Colorado’s House of Representatives, while high school principal Nathan Biah won a state seat in Rhode Island.
Ms Ricks, on her website campaign, said “As a young girl, I fled a Civil War in my native country, Liberia, and resettled in Aurora. Since then, I have had the opportunity to live what now seems like an impossible American Dream. After graduating from Aurora Central, I earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Business Administration from Metro and CU respectively. I am the proud mother of a 24-year-old daughter and I’ve worked hard to provide for her and operate a successful small mortgage brokerage business. I’ve dedicated my life to working to improve my community, by helping build economic knowledge, capacity and attainability for immigrant and low income communities. I serve on various community boards, and find joy in helping people reach their goal of home ownership as a mortgage broker.”
Mr Biah spent his childhood in Liberia’s capital, Monrovia, when the civil war broke out. He walked to the border with neighbouring Ivory Coast before reuniting with his family in Rhode Island.
According to his campaign website, Biah’s journey to America started in Monrovia, Liberia where his plans to attend college were disrupted by the Liberian Civil War.
“He walked 90 miles from Monrovia to Bong Mines to escape the violence, eventually landing in a refugee camp in the Ivory Coast. Biah eventually reunited with family in Rhode Island.”
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