• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
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

    Mat-Su’s Silver Fox Inn sustains major damage in morning fire

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Oct 07, 11:16

    A fire broke out Wednesday morning at the Silver Fox Inn, near Wasilla, causing significant damage. Emergency crews responded to the report of a fire at the hotel, bar and grill at about 7 a.m., after a renter in an apartment next door spotted the fire on the way to work. No one was inside the […]

  • News

    Budget cuts force 4 Alaska ferries out of service

    by Associated Press on Oct 07, 10:52

    State transportation officials plan to take four of Alaska’s 11 ferries out of service next summer because of budget cuts. The Juneau Empire reports the marine highway system unveiled its summer 2016 draft schedule on Tuesday. The state will idle the Taku, Fairweather and Chenega next summer, and the ferry Malaspina will only operate during […]

  • News

    Alaska DNR designates ‘protection of fish, wildlife habitat’ within Chuitna River watershed

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Oct 07, 9:42

    The state Division of Mining, Land & Water has issued a decision on the Chuitna Citizens Coalition Inc.’s applications – granting the coalition instream flow reservations for Middle Creek/Stream 2003, a tributary of the Chuitna River. “These applications were requested to protect flows for the purpose of protection of fish and wildlife habitat, migration, and propagation,” […]

  • Crime

    Former Fairbanks tutor convicted of sexual abuse of a minor

    by Associated Press on Oct 07, 6:42

    A former Fairbanks public school tutor has been found guilty of forcing a boy to have sex with him in 2010. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports (http://bit.ly/1ZbmYmh ) that a Fairbanks jury on Tuesday convicted Claude Fowlkes III of three counts of sexual abuse of a minor. Fowlkes in 2010 worked at Tanana Middle School. […]

  • Sports

    Nobody’s perfect, even in football

    by Dave Goldman on Oct 06, 22:58

    After last night’s blown call in the Seahawks-Lions game, fans are clamoring for more instant replay. I’m all for it too, as long as subjective officiating remains a key part of football. Last night stands out because it appeared to be a black and white call simply missed. But this wades into a much deeper […]

  • Politics

    UPDATE: Alaska preliminary elections roundup; Palmer opts out of marijuana

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Oct 06, 21:04

    Results current as of 7 a.m. City of Palmer The Palmer ballot had two city council seats and one proposition, which asked voters to decide if they wanted to ban marijuana cultivation, manufacturing and testing facilities, as well as retail stores within city limits. More than half of residents, 54.5 percent, voted yes on Proposition 1, […]

  • News

    Municipality of Anchorage looking to buy more assets in Cook Inlet

    by Alexis Fernandez on Oct 06, 20:04

    The Municipality of Anchorage is looking to buy more assets in Cook Inlet. On Tuesday, the Anchorage Assembly passed a resolution allowing the Berkowitz Administration to move forward with a bid to purchase assets in Cook Inlet. ConocoPhillips is offering to sell its one-third interest in the Beluga River Unit, its 100 percent interest in the […]

  • News

    Juneau family speaks out after losing two sons to heroin

    by Heather Hintze on Oct 06, 19:20

    Shelly Eidsness buried her youngest son, Brock, just three weeks ago — after he died from a heroin overdose in Juneau. “What goes through my mind is, it’s not real,” Eidsness said through her tears. “I want him back. I want my boy.” It’s the second time her family has been impacted by the dangerous drug. […]