Desy Sung and her family moved to America seeking a better life. And Desy is on track to make sure she takes full use of that opportunity.
Her family fled Burma as refugees to Malaysia and made its first American stop in Buffalo, New York. Eventually, they made their way to Marshalltown, where other family members were located.
The 10-year-old is now in the fifth grade at Lenihan Intermediate School. She wants to be a doctor someday.
“I want to help people who are sick or need helping,” Desy said.
She might not yet be a doctor, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t help people right now. Desy is involved in the Lenihan student leadership group Richochet, which helps out with community projects and her teachers say she is kind and compassionate to her classmates. She also puts maximum effort into her class work.
“She is a fantastic kid,” said Lenihan teacher Diane Simpson. “She always goes above and beyond in the classroom. I can tell she has such a high value for education.”
Desy admits she was shy when she arrived in Marshalltown and was a kindergarten student at Rogers Elementary School. She said school staff members, her friends and family helped her come out of her shell.
“They made me feel really comfortable and I started to love school and I still love school,” Desy said.
She has also become a budding writer. Desy’s work was recently honored by the American Legion as she won first place in a “What the Flag Means to Me” essay contest.
“I was really proud of myself ,” Desy said of her winning essay. “It was a really great experience.”
Opportunities will continue to open for Desy into the future.
“She takes advantage of every learning opportunity,” Simpson said.