All you really need to know about Biar Kon is this: in the right shoes, under a spotlight, he is unstoppable.
During last week’s Suitcase Stories performance on World Refugee Day, he gave a tour-de-force storytelling presentation before a crowd of almost two hundred people. In his dapper patterned suit and bedazzled shoes, he mesmerized the audience with the story of his experience in Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. You can see a video of his story online here.
Biar was born in Sudan, but he and his family fled their homeland in 1993, and for the next two decades, Biar lived in the Kakuma and Dadaab refugee camps in Kenya. In 2015, Biar and his family resettled to Boston and then moved to Lowell, MA.
Currently a student at Middlesex Community College, Biar will complete his associate’s degree in Business Administration this fall. After graduation, Biar hopes to complete his bachelor’s degree and earn his master’s in business administration with a minor in political science at a university in Boston. Obviously a dedicated student, Biar said that in his spare time he reads business books — his latest favorites are The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace Wattles and Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.
On top of his busy academic schedule, Biar also serves as an IINE intern in Lowell, where he helps resettle refugees and interprets for some Somali and Swahili-speaking clients.
When he tells the story of his early life, Biar purposely draws a connection between his own experience and what he imagines children today are enduring at camps in Africa, and in detention centers in Texas. As he said in his “Suitcase” story, he remembers how it feels to be powerless over one’s own life.
Biar is a bit shy about his hopes for the future. He said his “biggest motivation” is the dream of one day opening his own business. Until that time, though, it seems he will study, learn, help people, and continue to share his own powerful story in the hope that those who hear it will be inspired to give a young person a chance to succeed – just like the chance he feels he received when he came to the U.S.