• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
News Alert: DIRECTV Customers: Tell DIRECTV to bring back KTVA - Call 800-531-5000. - Read More
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
2m 16s

The changing landscape of ASD: Part 2

By Alexis Fernandez 5:51 AM February 27, 2014

The Catholic Social Services refugee program has relocated more than 1,000 families to Anchorage since 2003.

ANCHORAGE – What was once the minority student population across Anchorage schools is now the majority.

Over the past decade, diversity in schools has increased steadily.

There are many reasons; among them, a chance at a better life. Some families move to Alaska on their own for jobs, while others come with the help of refugee programs.

Like any other 31-year-old single mother, Nyanchiew Bichock wants her three children to have an opportunity to succeed.

“It’s a blessing, I came here to [the] U.S. with nothing,” Bichock said.

Opportunity is something she says she never had growing up in South Sudan.

“People are fighting, everyone that had power — they want to be in power, and only one tribe,” she said about the ongoing civil war taking place in South Sudan.

In 2000, at age 18, she said she fled to Ethiopia to escape the ongoing violence.

“We live as refugees, village to village, camp to camp,” she said.

She decided she had enough and wanted a new life for her newborn daughter. In 2008, she applied for a refugee program, relocated to Nebraska and finally ended up in Anchorage with her sister and cousin.

“I think it’s safer here for kids, I like Alaska for the kids, “she said.

She said it hasn’t been easy adapting to life here, especially when you’re from Africa.

“It’s cold compared to where I was born, it’s really hot — like 100 degrees, and here it’s like really cold… I was frozen,” she said.

But it’s now a place her kids can call home.

“In America, they do all things equal and that’s what makes America beautiful … to me,” Bichock said.

She’s just one of many families changing the landscape across the Anchorage School District.

In 2008-2009, the minority student population became the majority, according to the ASD. Minorities now make up 55 percent of the population.

For Tuka Mishra of Bhutan, Anchorage is also now home.

Mishra left Bhutan as a child and relocated to Nepal for a better life.

“Staying there it will be very difficult, we have nothing and no place to work, also, and it was very difficult,” Mishra said.

In 2009, she moved to Anchorage with her husband, Raghu and son, Sayal, now 7, with the help of an international refugee program.

For her, it was a dream.

“Opportunity is equal for all, what I see today: Being a mother, mother wants to make the kids educated,” Mishra said. “It’s available here.”

They’re examples of just two families who share a common bond despite their cultural differences, and are becoming the new faces of many Anchorage schools.

According to Catholic Social Services, its refugee program has relocated more than 1,000 families to Anchorage since 2003.

Latest Stories

  • News

    Hostetler Park renovation project includes new plan for Alaska Victims Memorial

    by Eric Ruble on Feb 26, 18:45

    A small park in the northwest corner of downtown Anchorage will soon have a new look. Hostetler Park is located where Third Avenue becomes L Street. Since 1994, the eastern portion of the park has been occupied by the Alaska Victims Memorial. It includes the names of more than 350 Alaskans who died because of […]

  • Weather

    Alaska Weather Forecast – Feb. 26, 2017

    by KTVA Weather on Feb 26, 18:38

    Meteorologist Melissa Frey says most of the state will see some amount of snow, but Southeast will stay dry through Monday. Follow KTVA 11’s Weather Team on Facebook and Twitter. Got a weather-related photo or story idea? Email the team at weather@ktva.com.

  • News

    Officials readying for Eielson F-35s to spur housing crunch

    by Associated Press on Feb 26, 18:18

    Officials are preparing for a possible housing crunch in 2020 that is expected to coincide with an influx of servicemen tied to the two new F-35 squadrons coming to Eielson Air Force Base. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports one part of the Fairbanks North Star Borough is estimated to need 800 units of housing by […]

  • Politics

    White House to propose slashing agency budgets

    by Associated Press on Feb 26, 18:07

    The White House is moving to propose slashing cuts to longtime Republican targets like the Environmental Protection Agency in a set of marching orders to agencies as it prepares its budget for the upcoming fiscal year. Capitol Hill aides say the White House budget office on Monday will send agencies proposed levels for the 2018 […]

  • Politics

    Agency publishes timetable for Mexico border wall

    by Associated Press on Feb 26, 18:04

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection says it plans to start awarding contracts by mid-April for President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall. The agency said Friday on a website for federal contactors that a request for bids would be published on or around March 6. Companies would have to submit “concept papers” to design and build […]

  • Lifestyle

    2017 Fur Rondy snow sculpture winners announced

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Feb 26, 17:49

    One of the most popular events at Fur Rendezvous is the snow sculpture competition. On Sunday, Fur Rondy officials announced the winners of this year’s event. While the competition is over, the public will be able to see each of the snow sculptures through the end of Fur Rondy on March 5, weather permitting. They are […]

  • Lifestyle

    Roxy Wright wins Fur Rondy sled dog races

    by KTVA Sports on Feb 26, 17:45

    Roxy Wright took home top prize at the 2017 Fur Rendezvous World Sled Dog Championship races over the weekend. The races take place over three days as competitors sprint a 25-mile loop through Anchorage, running a total of 75 miles. This year’s championship had the largest prize purse ever of $100,000. In perspective, last year’s […]

  • Lifestyle

    Denali National Park and Preserve celebrates 100 years

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Feb 26, 16:02

    The Denali Visitor Center is open during winter for the first time ever as the park celebrates its centennial, park officials say. The Denali National Park and Preserve was established on Feb. 26, 1917 as Mount McKinley National Park, park spokeswoman Katherine Belcher explained in a statement. The park’s name was later changed, followed by the […]