Fourteen-hour flight brings Neri to new adventure

Kimberly (Kim) Neri moved to Lewiston in early 2018 from Cebu, a providence in the Philippines. She was born and raised in the Philippines and even went to school with the same 40 students over the past 13 years.

“I knew that when I found out I was moving to America, one of the hardest things about leaving would be leaving my friends and family I was so close to in the Philippines,” Neri said.

She attended a Catholic private school called Colegio de la Inmaculada Concepcion that began at the age of 3. Neri was very involved in her school working with her schools government being one of the delta disciplinary leaders, writing for the schools newspaper, and being a part of the schools safety prevention group.

“I really liked my school in the Philippines, and a year before I moved I decided to become as involved as I could to make a difference,” Neri said.

In April of 2018, Neri, with her mom, stepdad and their dog Drady, flew from the islands of the Philippines to the United States.

“People always ask me, why Lewiston?” Neri said. “We moved to Lewiston because it is where my stepdad is from, and all of his friends and family are here too.”

During her first few months in the States, Neri spent her time getting familiar with the Idaho culture.

“I remember walking down the street and seeing a girl wearing a tank top and shorts and I thought to myself, how did she not get in trouble at school?” Neri said. “And that’s really when I realized I had a lot to get used to and that I definitely was no longer in the Philippines.”

On the last day of summer 2018, she anxiously waited to see what her new school would be like in an entire new country. She spent the first few days before school getting to know her teachers, taking tours, and finding the spirit of becoming a Bengal.

“When I walked into LHS, I already knew I was going to like it, but I was still so nervous to meet so many new people. I asked my cousin, who goes to LHS, to help me around and thankfully she said she would help,” Neri said.

On Aug. 22 she began her journey as a junior at Lewiston High School.

“The first few days of school were difficult. I just had so much to get used to so fast and making new friends was hard,” Neri said. “I don’t want people to think I’m mean, because in reality, I’m just really shy.”

Now she is half way through her junior year and really enjoying LHS, after she graduates she hopes to get into law school at the University of Idaho in hopes to become a lawyer.

“I miss my friends and family in the Philippines, but I know they are happy for me and my new adventure. I really like it here and even got my very first job,” Neri said. “Even though in the beginning it was hard, I’ve met a lot of people who have supported my family and I on this new adventure and am so grateful for them.”