Sarah Stultz: Progress interviews inspiring for this journalist

Published 9:09 pm Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Nose for News by Sarah Stultz

Here at the Tribune it’s what we call Progress season — probably our busiest month of the year!

We are diligently completing one section each week of our big Progress edition, which comes out at the end of February.

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Though it is a hectic time, it is also the time of year to meet a lot of great people and to be inspired.

Last week I had the opportunity to interview Sa Taw, a Karen success coach with Albert Lea Area Schools, who is also a member of the Albert Lea Police Reserves, an assistant pastor at Zion Karen Baptist Church and an assistant soccer and track and field coach.

To hear all that this man is involved in is impressive, but what I was even more inspired with is why he does what he does.

Taw moved to the United States from a refugee camp in Thailand and lives in Albert Lea with his wife and children, parents and siblings.

It was clear that after only a few minutes of talking to him that his family guides his decisions. He lives in Albert Lea so he can be close to his parents and siblings.

When I asked him why he is involved with everything he does, Taw said he wanted to be someone the younger generation can look up to and that he wanted to be a good example for others.

Some of the people who work with him at the school district and the police department talked about the impact he has made in those realms and how he is building bridges for the Karen people in the community and helping these residents thrive.

I remember when the Karen residents first started moving to our community. That was almost 10 years ago now, and it is heartwarming to see more and more community leaders like Taw step forward. He is proud of his culture but also eager to help the community — his home — grow.

It makes me proud of how our community has changed in the last decade and how we have more diversity than probably ever before.

Without giving too much away, this is just one of many stories you can expect to find in the Progress edition.

Also for the Progress edition, our Citizen of the Year committee met Monday, reviewed the nominations for this year’s award and selected our winner.

I will be reaching out to the person who was selected to set up an interview this week. The person will be featured in our community section of the issue.

Thank you to those who have opened up your homes, businesses and lives to us for this exciting edition and who are sharing your stories with us.

It sure makes my job worthwhile, and I hope it will be as impactful for you once the issue arrives in your hands.

Sarah Stultz is the managing editor of the Tribune. Her column appears every Wednesday.