How a first-year CSU student overcomes seemingly insurmountable obstacles | Biden News


From Nepal to Fort Collins

Mongar lived in a UN refugee camp in Nepal until he was eight years old. He remembered having to use newspaper to protect the cracks in his family’s bamboo house, but it was never enough to withstand the cold.

“The camp has no paved roads, and sometimes it feels like nothing but dust,” he said.

This is not Mongar’s only challenge. Until the age of three, he could not walk. At school, she finds herself struggling to hear her teacher inside the large classroom where she is supposed to study.

“I was the stupidest kid in school, I was made fun of, I had no friends,” Mongar said. “The teachers literally told my parents that I had no future, I wouldn’t go on to high school or college, and I would stay stupid for the rest of my life.”

Samir Mongar and his family
Samir Mongar and his family celebrate his graduation from Denver South High School.

The Mongar family moved to Colorado in 2013. He and his sister had to learn English, and he said he was bullied into going back to class after his experience in Nepal.

Instead, Mongar’s teacher made a discovery: He had an undiagnosed hearing loss.

“The kid everyone thinks is a fool isn’t really that stupid,” said Mongar. “He needed support, and hearing aids helped me suddenly learn from my teacher.”

Mongar started doing well at Denver South High School and joined the student council. Outside of the classroom, organizes Wish Week and yard clean-ups to help his community.

And the boy who couldn’t walk the first few years of his life and was in a wheelchair when he first arrived in the US was able to join the cross-country team thanks to physical therapy.

“I would say that Samir is probably one of the most unique and special students I have ever met in my 23 years of teaching,” said Jason Brookes, one of Mongar’s teachers in Denver South. “He has an amazing attitude, is positive and curious and is always happy and striving for knowledge.”


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