Born in Bikuvu, DRCongo, Pio’s family fled to Thailand when he was 5. He has fond, vivid memories of the great weather, crazy traffic, and good friends at the International School in Bangkok during the years that his family was seeking permanent refuge. Pio’s first experience entering fourth grade in RI was of being bullied, then hiding it from his parents so they wouldn’t worry. The next year he moved to San Miguel where he felt safe to enjoy school again. This year he is a Junior, involved in student council, on a diversity committee, and on the soccer team. Of course, Covid has changed so much and he misses the social activities with friends.
Pio was straightforward about some of the ways that life in the US can be quite scary. Some of his classmates have been taken in by “Trumpism,” adopting irrational ideas about racism. Pio believes that training with Beautiful Day is helping him take risks to talk to new people and communicate well. He’d like to be thought of as someone who doesn’t take anything for granted, but willing to work hard and to do what it takes to be part of his new country and community.