Thangsian Khual Suan

From the outside looking in, no one would know that ThanSuan is any different than any other Centennial High School student in Franklin. He does typical high school activities like soccer; he’s interested in typical high school things.

But, that’s where the typical ends and the uniqueness of Thang’s life begins.

Thang was born and raised in Myanmar. Thang’s parents and as he says “the grace of God” allowed him to get to Malaysia in 2006. But before we move on to that part of Thang’s unique story, let me set the stage for you of what 2006 was like in Myanmar from Wikipedia:

“In November 2006, the International Criminal Court moved ‘to prosecute members of the ruling Myanmar junta for crimes against humanity’ over the continuous forced labour of over 800,00 citizens by the military.”

Thang’s father had already been captured. His brother had escaped. Thang was out. Uniqueness complete? Not even close.

He was not in Malaysia legally. For over a year, he and his brother had to hide and work in remote locations just to find food and shelter. An education? Not an option. He had gone through 3rd grade.

In 2007, through the help of UNHCR, he made his way to Franklin and to the family he now lives with. He began high school and 4 years later — still struggling with the English language — Thang will not only graduate, but has his eyes set on going to college to become a “highly educated person” so that “one day he can be a big help to people who are in need.”