PART II: Yohannes’ Big Day Continues with a School Celebration

For the past few years, KVRR has been keeping up with the story of a local Fargo boy from Ethiopia named Yohannes Tunheim.

He has been in the process of being adopted by the Tunheim family for the past few years, but this morning, it became official.

The adoption process that began in December of 2014 has finally come to a close and the Tunheims are officially adding a new member to their family.

After leaving the courthouse, it was back to school for Yohannes where the celebration continued.

Yohannes thought it was just another day, so when he got to his meeting for international students, he wasn’t expecting the celebration awaiting him.

“This is a celebration for him but also for the other students to see,” said Oak Grove Lutheran High School International Coordinator Lisa Nicholas. “Dreams do come true and he’s worked really hard to where he’s at today.”

In Yohannes’ time at the school, he’s made a big impact on everyone he meets.

“He came from a very different background and life experience but he’s one those kids that just fit in,” said Mike Slette, who is President of Oak Grove. “Almost from day one,” he added.

But school isn’t exactly the easiest thing to adjust to when you come from a foreign country and a life of neglect and poverty.

“School is like a little bit tough for me because I have a language problem,” said Yohannes.

But Yohannes is no stranger to tough situations.

Everyone who knows him will agree: he’s an incredibly hard worker with a true dedication to education.

His parents even say they have to force him to stop studying sometimes or he’d be up all night.

When he first came to America, Yohannes only knew five words of English.

And although he still has a bit of trouble finding the right words at times, he’s come a long way.

“You know school is hard for everybody but if you work hard, you’ll get it,” said Yohannes. “I think I’m a little bit close to getting school but also I have hard parts with school but I’m getting better.”

And those are words we could all learn a little something from.

The KVRR team would like to congratulate the Tunheim family on their great news.

We can’t wait to see what you do next!

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