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Student’s Book Shared With Refugees in Their Language

By Jennifer Fogarty, communications content manager
Upper Schooler’s poem becomes a globally translated book inspiring confidence and perseverance. 
In third grade, Trisha Rao ’25 turned a poem she wrote into a book about a dog named Sunshine who joins Papa Dog on a journey of discovery. Together, they face challenges and learn about hard work, gratitude and love. The book, Believe in Yourself, was translated into Arabic to share with Syrian refugee children and into Ukrainian for refugee children from Ukraine. The books have been distributed to young students worldwide, spreading a message of hope, resilience and self-belief. 

Read an excerpt below of the article in The San Diego Union-Tribune.

Trisha Rao was an author at 8 years old.

The Rancho Bernardo resident wrote the book, “Believe in Yourself,” which tells the story of a puppy named Sunshine who goes on a journey of discovery with Papa Dog. They meet animal friends around the world who teach them life-enhancing lessons on self-belief, hard work, gratitude and love.

In early January, Rao, now 16, met with kindergartners of Ukrainian heritage, including some who were refugees, and read her book to them. The event at the Education Center of Tierrasanta Lutheran Church was supported and hosted by the House of Ukraine.

“I wanted to do something similar to what I did for Syrian children because of the war going on in the Ukraine,” Rao said about the event.


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