"My dad's side of the family moved to the United States in the 1950s. The situation in Finland was grim after the Winter War, and the New World presented my grandfather with a promising opportunity to fulfill his dreams as a business owner. The family settled in Michigan where my grandfather sold Finnish skis while my dad helped with his father's carpentry business. It was there that my mother later met my dad while visiting from Finland for an English language camp. I am a third-generation migrant and a dual citizen. In 2009 I moved back to Northern Ostrobothnia, in Finland, where both my grandparents used to reside. I currently work as an English teacher, sharing my story while substituting at local schools.
When Finland had an influx of migrants in 2015, the country was ill-prepared. As a country that is somewhat isolated in the north, citizens have become accustomed to the benefits associated with Nordic welfare states. Sharing that wealth with others has now meant making compromises. In education, for example, that has meant that everyone can no longer study everything they are interested in for free. On the job market, there has been increased discussion about entrepreneurship and a gradual move away from tenureship, particularly in the field of education. Times are changing and it is time for us to get creative — together. This is what makes us human."