Growing up in Vietnam, Kim Vu Friesen fell asleep to the sounds of war. Encouraged by her father, she went to the U.S. to finish her education. She has been here ever since.
Born in the city of Nam Dinh, Ms. Friesen spent the first portion of her childhood in what was formerly known as North Vietnam. Her father was a member of the Ministry of Education, giving Kim’s family a comfortable life. In 1954, Ms. Friesen and her family moved to the South Vietnam to escape the communist government in the north. As the Vietnam War escalated, her father suggested that she go abroad. She was awarded a scholarship to the University of Nebraska at Kearney.
When Ms. Friesen arrived in the U.S., the people she encountered wear eager to hear her speak about the conflict in Vietnam. She answered questions and gave presentations about her experiences. When Saigon fell, Kim’s family joined her in the United States. Her father’s position in the government made him a target, and they arrived as refugees in 1975.
Ms. Friesen has spent 23 years as a counselor for Minneapolis Public Schools. She has given several lectures and workshops for counseling and teaching professions working with immigrant and refugee communities. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband.