We interviewed Appoline via Zoom soon after our youth program went virtual. Appoline, who is a sophomore at a local high school, told us about some of the things she loves, like playing guitar on her school soccer team or playing the guitar. Her tutor gave her one as a gift and she is in love with it.
Originally from the DR Congo, Appoline was only 2 when her family fled Tanzania. Later they moved to a refugee camp in Burundi. Her family arrived in Rhode Island in 2014 when she was 10. She attended a summer camp called BRYTE, which helped her learn English and acclimate to life in America. The camp helped her to know she wasn't alone - there were other kids on a similar journey.
Appoline struggles with sickle cell anemia, a disease that took two of her sisters. She plans on getting a blood transfusion after high school, but wants to wait until then so she can stay focused on school work and eventually go to college and study fashion design. Her dream college is Brown University. She and her brother have both worked in the kitchen and the farmer's market. She says she loves the work because she gets to learn and laugh every day.