"We came to America on a Friday and went to church on Sunday," which is where Ehlerh Htoo, 17, met other Karen boys his age. Ethnically, the Htoos are Karen, which is a minority group in Burma that was suffering civil rights abuses by the majority group, the Burmans. Ehlerh's parents fled to Thailand in 1995 to live in a refugee camp, but ten years later Thailand no longer wanted the camps and America welcomed the refugees. Ehlerh feels "most comfortable with the Karen” through the fragments of the culture they share, but more importantly acting as a support system as they navigate straddling two worlds. Six years later, those same boys are his closest friends; "I don't call them best friend, they're my brothers," says Ehlerh.
Photography and Edit by Joanna Graham