All high school students need to figure out what they’ll do when they graduate. That’s not easy for anyone, but especially for kids who’ve come as refugees. Visits to college campuses help them learn about their choices, and motivate them in school. In January, six kids from B5 visited Eastern Washington University. They had the chance to imagine themselves as university students.

Last week 15 other students visited the University of Washington, where they participated in Rising SEAs, a program for high school students who identify as Southeast Asian Americans. This program recognizes that kids from Southeast Asian countries, who’ve experienced the trauma of war and displacement, experience significant barriers to completing higher education.

After the conference, one student shared his take-away: “I learned that where you’re from is not as important as who you become.”

Students are inspired when they visit universities. They turn that inspiration into action when they complete college applications. Many of these young adults will be first-generation college students. We share their joy when they click the submit button on that application form.