Student stories of St. Paul


by students • The Saint Paul Almanac held a writing contest for its students. Students shared their experiences of Saint Paul, which included neighborhood stories, coming to America, and personal observations of Saint Paul. The stories remind us of the uniqueness and richness of our city.

Including a calendar, date book, restaurant reviews, essays and poems about Saint Paul, the Saint Paul Almanac is a rich resource for anyone wishing to explore the cultural and social depths of Saint Paul throughout the year.

My life in saint paul Sandra Opokua Hello. My name is Sandra Opokua. I am fourteen years old and I am writing about my life in Saint Paul. First of all, I arrived in Saint Paul on May 17, 2007. I arrived with my mother from Ghana in West Africa. I came here to be reunited with my grandmother and my uncle. My grandmother has lived in Saint Paul for ten years and my uncle has lived here for fifteen years. I arrived in Saint Paul at the beginning of summer. I was impressed by the broad diversity of the population. There are African Americans, Africans, Chinese, Hmong, Japanese, and Somalians. But in my country, Ghana, we were all in one uniform. Also, when we went out, I was so shocked to see big stores like Wal-Mart, Target, Macy’s, JC Penny, Kmart, and Mall of America. And I was wondering, who built these big buildings? I saw big houses. My uncle took me to Como Zoo and I saw many animals I’d never seen before in my life. And then one day, I was home and I received a package. When I opened it, it was a jacket. So I asked my uncle why he bought this big cloth when it’s hot. He said we were about to enter winter and I needed warm clothes. The first time I saw snow, I wanted to eat it, because in my country we eat ice. So I went outside and touched it and threw it up into the air. Saint Paul is the most beautiful city I have ever seen in my life. I would like to thank the people who made it possible for us to stay in Saint Paul. Thanks to all of them. We are grateful. Frogtown: my neighborhood Melina Pha I grew up in Saint Paul in the Frogtown neighborhood. I live with both my parents, one sister, and two brothers. Minnesota is cold, but I still love it. I love my neighborhood, it’s hard to explain. It’s not clean, but oh well. When I walk out my front door, I see children playing two-square, jumping rope, playing tag, and just running around. I see my cousins in their cars, zooming down the street. In the summertime, there are so many kids that we need two to three ice cream trucks. In the winter, when I come home from school, people are walking their dogs, throwing snowballs, and walking to the hill at the park with their sleds. Me and my cousin walk to the corner store. I buy Snickers and Sprite, and my cousin buys ice cream, even in the winter. I grew up there and I want to live there the rest of my life. My experience as an immigrant to Saint Paul Nhia Xiong My family decided to come to the United States of America because we thought that if we came here we would have a better life than before. A lot of people think that it is easy for refugees to come to America, but it wasn’t easy for us. Before coming here, my family had to have blood testing, eat some medicines, do eye testing, and do other things. But at last we got to come here to the United States of America. It was hard for my family because when we came here, we didn’t even know how to read, write, or speak English. We didn’t even know where to go and we didn’t even know how to use the oven and everything in the kitchen. At last, the most important reason for coming to the United States of America is because we wanted to have good opportunities and we wanted to have a good education.

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