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"We are the protagonists of our stories called life, and there is no limit to how high we can fly."

Type rated on A330, B747-400, B747, B757, B767, B737, B727. International Airline Pilot / Author / Speaker. Dedicated to giving the gift of wings to anyone following their dreams. Supporting Aviation Safety through training, writing, and inspiration.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Puja Niroula

Friday's Fabulous Flyer

 Puja Niroula

My friend, Jennifer Lesher began mentoring Puja three years ago when Puja was entering her sophomore year at Rainier Beach. Puja's family came from Nepal, from a refugee camp, when she was 12. She has done amazing things already, and Jennifer says, 

"I'm confident she'll do more amazing things with her future. I've helped her as much as I can, by buying her school supplies and things she'll need for her dorm, but I just can't cover her financial aid gap, so I helped her do the gofundme campaign instead. 

She is a very hardworking, goodhearted young lady and she has seen things in her young life that I can't even imagine, and still, all she wants to do is give back. She humbles me, she truly does."

Puja and Jennifer

Here's her story, in her words -

My name is Puja Niroula. I am 19 years old and I have a dream to continue my education and become a nurse or public health worker. I have worked hard to create this opportunity for myself. I have been admitted to Western Washington University, and I have been given some financial aid, but I need a little more so I don’t burden my family with debt.

I came here from Nepal when I was 12 years old, but my story starts before I was born. More than 25 years ago my parents were evicted from their native Bhutan because of their ethnicity. They were given the choice to leave or be killed. They moved to Goldhap refugee camp in Nepal. I was born there in 1995. The first 12 years of my life were very difficult. Then, in March of 2008, when I was 12 years old, the camp burned to the ground. My family lost everything, but we were grateful that we were all still alive.

Others were not so lucky. Many were terribly injured and some died. I did what I could to help. I pulled people out of burning houses. I helped organize a group to take the injured to a distant hospital. At the hospital, I helped to distribute medicine and water to the patients. We had to live in the jungle for 6 months after the fire. It was a very rough time. Food and clothing were in short supply. But, we were lucky, because in the fall of 2008 we got to come to America.

Life in America was not always easy, but I was determined to get my education. I focused on school and improved my English on my own. The hard life I led in Nepal made me strong and gave me confidence to achieve anything. I learned English and completed high school with a 3.8 gpa.

Now I’m ready for the next stage of my life – college, then a career. I remember how much it meant to me to be able to help others after the fire, and it made me want to have a career in healthcare. I want to make a contribution to society, and I want to be able to take care of my parents, because they have worked so hard, for so many years, to take care of me.

I will be grateful for any help I receive, and I promise I will make good on my commitment to complete my education.

Giving of the heart to those who help themselves, is a gift that will be paid forward. Puja is one of those people who will do incredible things in this world. 
Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene


  1. Thank you for sharing the story about my wonderful friend Puja!

    1. You are so welcome!!! And I'm going to add to her fund... as soon as I can carve 10 minutes this week. Thank you for sharing her wonderful story!


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