No Excuses: Hsar Lwen

Davis Baldwin, Staff Writer

Hardworking. Workaholic. It seems these days we all have a different opinion of what these words mean. Many people will say they are hardworking, but very few can truly show how much work they put in. Working two jobs and accumulating about 60 hours a week, Wheaton Warrenville South graduate Hsar Lwen is a perfect example of hardworking.

While Lwen may live in a safe prospering community now, this wasn’t always the case. As a kid, Lwen grew up in genocide in Thailand. He saw all the devastations of war; corpses, severed heads, burned villages, all the horror that comes with genocide. “We mostly lived in poverty,” said Lwen. “We lived in a bamboo house with banana leaves…there is no internet…no plumbing….and I rarely saw cars.” Perspective closes such doors, shields people from many things. Lwen told me as a child; he never knew other humans, people that weren’t Asian. He informed me he viewed the world as only being Thailand. Perspective, however, is not something Lwen lacks now.

Moving to the United States was extraordinarily difficult for Lwen. “The language barrier for sure” Lwen explained when talking about his most significant difficulty moving to the United States. However, you would never be able to tell that Lwen once struggled with English, and he appears to be a native speaker to the regular ear. Outgoing and social are two more words you could use to describe Lwen. One of the biggest reasons he had so much success with English was through his social ability.” I made friends who were American…I learned English from school and my friends” In fact, Lwen progressed so quickly that he finished his ESL classes that can be taken from k-12 before he was even in middle school. “I graduated ESL in fifth grade,” Lwen said. No matter the obstacle, Lwen continues to succeed.

Lwen continued to achieve in areas where he had no experience. Lwen advanced rapidly in Gymnastics at Wheaton Warrenville South. As usual, he built much muscle and improved his technique through his hard work, especially in that of rings. His senior year, he was ranked high enough and made it to state. Unfortunately, Lwen never was given the opportunity due to the coronavirus.

The coronavirus put on hold Lwen’s goal of pursuing criminal justice in college and becoming a cop. He didn’t take it as a defeat, however, but rather an opportunity to make money. After merely one year at Wendy’s Lwen’s consistent hard work, he can achieve manager status. Despite the long hours, the corona restrictions, and a sometimes slacking staff surrounding him, Lwen continues to succeed in his job. “I’m a manager, and managers usually work a minimum of 40 hours a week…I also do door dash…so 60 hours, I think,” Lwen said when talking about his working hours. 

60 hours a week. It takes a second to envision how much that is. Sixteen hours higher than the American national average. The dedication to his job is evident, and it’s no surprise he was promoted to manager. It’s self-evident that Lwen is incredibly hard working but what’s more, is he is a living example of how much your life can change. From growing up within the horrors of war to becoming a law enforcement officer, Lwen is indeed a prime example of change.