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I first heard about Kim Ha when she shared her story for my @BetterMakeRoom campaign in 2016. She’s a Houston native and her parents immigrated to our country from Vietnam and Mexico. Growing up, her parents worked hard but sometimes struggled to make ends meet, experiencing periods of unemployment between jobs in the oil industry, working at gas stations, and picking produce in the agricultural fields. Some days, Kim said, her only meal of the day came from the school cafeteria. But she kept her eyes on getting her college degree—even when she wasn’t sure she could afford it, even when she wasn’t sure she’d get accepted, even when she’d made it to campus but still worried that she might not graduate. She persevered, and while she was at college—she found her passion: Reaching back and lifting up others who come from backgrounds like hers. Today, Kim is a first-generation college graduate from Texas A&M University. She plans to attend law school and become an immigration lawyer, so she can help those who feel marginalized or left behind. Her advice to others in her shoes: “If I could tell any student who’s wondering if they are worthy of going to college, please know that you are. You are able, you are strong, and you can do it. This is our country and this is our future in the making.” For me, Kim is proof that our diversity is our strength—and that no matter what challenges we might face, our brightest days are ahead of us because the future belongs to young people like her. #BetterMakeRoom
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