“Bosnians don’t have middle names, but we really should just have resilience as the middle name because I think, if anything, as people, as a group of people, that’s really what we are. [….] I think that’s one of the proudest things I can say about myself as a Bosnian is that there’s a sense of resiliency that you don’t give up, that you always keep trying, and you can always make things better.” – Mersiha Demirović
Young Leaders Growing Up in Bowling Green
Today’s Bosnian American community in Bowling Green includes an emerging group of young leaders who have grown up with a foot in two worlds. Many of their generation, born in the 1980s and 1990s, remember what it was like to live in Bosnia; others are children born in the shadow of war and remember it through the eyes of their parents. They identify as Bosnian and American, and as Bosnian American, which may mean different things to each person.
Above all, their experiences and their parents’ experiences have taught them to value family and perseverance. This younger generation owes a great deal to their parents and grandparents for building a foundation in America. When Bosnians first arrived in Bowling Green, many began working the factory jobs that were available. Soon, though, Bosnians began building their own businesses, creating job opportunities for others in the community.
This younger generation, like their parents before them, is building businesses and jobs for our community: from logistics companies and law offices to restaurants and boutiques. The individuals highlighted here are but a few voices from their generation leading the way. As philanthropists, entrepreneurs, health professionals, engineers, and students, all have chosen paths that build up the world around them and make Bowling Green a better, safer, and more prosperous place.