AUBURN -- Pasi Sula came to the United States at age 14 from a refugee camp after fleeing war in his native Democratic Republic of Congo. He spoke Swahili and French, but no English. So his last three years at Auburn Mountainview High are nothing but astonishing.
"I would count on one hand the number of students the past 13 years that have the kind of determination that he has," said his English teacher Chantal Baldacci, who said occasionally Pasi would break into French to express a thought.
"I think he is wonderful!" boasts his foster mother, Yvette Kungkagam, who also fosters Pasi's older brother. "He's successful, resilient. I believe he can do anything he wants to do in life."
Pasi also played soccer and was a starter on the wrestling team.
For his achievements, Pasi will receive a Governors' Scholarship for Foster Youth to help him get his bachelor's degree in criminal justice. He wants to be a police officer.
"I think it's a great job ... most of their job is helping people and that's what I love to do," says Pasi.
Governor Jay Inslee will present the Governors' Scholarship for Foster Youth Friday May 17 at 3 p.m. at the Columbia Tower Club, 701 Fifth Avenue in Seattle. Fifty youth will receive 5-year scholarships. The program is managed by the College Success Foundation.