When the Minnesota Department of Human Services emailed True Thao to tell him he’d been chosen to receive an Outstanding Refugee Award, he first thought it was some kind of a scam.
“I wasn’t sure what to make of it,” Thao admitted with a laugh. “There is so much on the internet these days that’s not true. I actually thought someone was playing a prank on me.”
True didn’t respond for several days, until he heard from Jaime Ballard, one of his colleagues at the University of Minnesota’s Department of Family Social Science immigrant and refugee research team.
“Then I knew it was the truth,” he said. “I finally responded to the email and said, ‘Thank you. And I’m humbled.’”
This kind of response is in keeping with the generally humble approach that Thao has taken for the more than two decades that he has