Empowered Parent Stories
Refugee and parent David Geri-Orimateo migrated to Houston from South Sudan with hope for a better future for him and his family. The possibility for his children to access an exceptional education was the biggest reason he chose to leave the refugee camps in South Sudan and come to the United States.
“One of my dreams for my children is to get them educated, to be better people for the future. If they can get a better education, that’s what I’m here for. I’m here because of their future,” David said.
David’s wife and oldest made the journey to the U.S. before he could join them. Geri-Orimateo left South Sudan in 1994 and has been in the U.S. since. Today, David and his wife have five children
“It was a hard experience in the camp,” David said. “When I look at people here, I say that they have no right to complain, they have no reason to complain. I’ve seen people pass through hard times.”
Three of David’s five children attend KIPP schools. The family considered a private Catholic school, could not afford the tuition. Even so, David explained that he does not feel limited in his school choices.
“To have a choice is a better thing for me, because you pick a school that you already know,” Geri-Orimateo said. “I can’t make a choice about something if I don’t know anything about it.”
David is an active of his community. He has attended Texas School Choice rallies in Austin rally for two years in a row, and participated other events to advance educational opportunities for Houston’s children.
David explains that wants to advocate for children with refugee parents and those parents who are not aware of their school choices.
“It’s important for children who have refugee parents to have school choice because if they can put their children in a school of their choice, they feel confident that their children are getting the education they want,” David said.
Families Empowered’s mission is to empower families to engage in a marketplace of schools. By helping parents navigate the school marketplace, parents are one step closer to understanding their school options and finding the best-fit school for their child.