All of seventeen years old, Hari has had the need to communicate via distributed publication ever since a young age while he was growing up in Bhutanese refugee camps in Nepal, where he was born. In the 1990s, his family had fled as part of Bhutanese relocations of citizens of Nepali descent.
While attending school in the camp, Hari worked as a freelance reporter for a Bhutanese online news service, and also managed to start his own newspaper.
After gaining asylum to the US just under a year ago, Hari immediately turned to print media, and with the help of friends and school officials in Cleveland, began distributing print and emailing pdf copies of the newspaper. He now has a full-fledged website, complete with video and ads.
His articles range from local news and entertainment, such as Nepali students dancing, performing music, and playing soccer; to public interest articles such as what a Green Card is, and how you obtain one; to recollections of events that occurred in Nepal, such as a horrific fire that tore through the refugee settlement in which he lived and went to school.
Articles of particular interest to Nepali New Americans are published both in English and Nepali. “They can compare them side by side, see?” Hari said, flipping open a copy of his newspaper. “That way they can learn what they need to do, but also they can learn the English that they need to live better here. People are learning because the words are the same in different languages.”
The Cleveland Municipal School District (CMSD) is excited that Hari, a high school student at Lincoln West High School, in Cleveland, has joined the ranks of reporters and communications professionals. In a July 9, 2014, article distributed by the CMSD News Bureau, and published by Cleveland Connects, Hari’s story is told, describing the history and objectives of the newspaper, something of Hari’s background, and what Hari looks forward to doing after high school graduation: not publishing.
“I’d like to be a software engineer,” he said. “After I complete my school, I will go to college for that. I’d like to utilize my skills and learn more skills to make my parents and my community proud.”