Marion Nelson - Green Card Voices

Marion Nelson

Occupation: Student

Country of Birth: Marshall Islands

Current: O’ahu, Hawai’i

Growing up in Majuro, the Marshall Islands, Marion experienced a simple yet fulfilling life. Her days consisted of attending school, completing chores, and hanging out with family and relatives. Weekends were often dedicated to additional chores, though sometimes she would go to the beach or spend Sundays in church and read the Bible with her family.

In early 2017, Marion learned that her family would be moving to Hawai‘i for better educational and healthcare opportunities. While she looked forward to the new experiences awaiting her, the move was sad, as it meant leaving behind friends and extended family.

The transition to Hawai‘i presented several challenges, including adapting to new languages, cultural differences, and a cooler climate. Marion found the larger roads fascinating. The initial excitement of moving to a new place was tempered by the difficulties of adjusting to an unfamiliar environment. Despite these challenges, Marion immersed herself in her new surroundings, gradually learning the language and culture.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Marion, like many others, had to adapt to a new mode of learning as schools shifted online. Currently, Marion lives with her older brother and parents. She has embraced her high school life, joining the softball and volleyball teams to gain new experiences. On weekends, she enjoys going out to the beach and shopping.

In the future, Marion wants to continue her education and pursue a degree in either business or the medical field. She is eager to contribute to her community and be a good citizen. Marion is a member of Safe Haven, a group dedicated to preserving and showcasing Marshallese culture through traditional dances known as “beet.” Through her involvement, Marion proudly shares her heritage and continues to stay connected to her roots.