Mersiha Demirović was born in Sarajevo, Bosnia, and was only 3 years old when the war started. After taking refuge in Visoko, Bosnia, her family traveled to the United States in 2001. In Bowling Green, Demirović attended Warren Central while focusing on earning her way for college. She attended WKU for her undergraduate degree, focusing on psychology and sexuality studies because she was interested in working with victims of sexual abuse, and because she views mental health as a necessary component for resilience. Demirović completed her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Sexuality Studies in 2011 and went on to receive her Master of Social Work from WKU in 2014. A dedicated student and hard worker, Demirović has worked two jobs since she was 20 years old. Demirović has worked as a refugee case manager through Community Action of Southern Kentucky, a clinical social worker for Southern Kentucky Rehabilitation Hospital, and currently works as a psychotherapist with Associates in Counseling and Psychology in Bowling Green. She also teaches courses at WKU and Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College.
Demirović is committed to service in Bowling Green, from presenting on mental health for Bowling Green Women’s Intercultural Cafe to serving as a medical advocate at Hope Harbor Inc. Reflecting on identity and heritage, Demirović remembers thinking,
“…until I turn 24 I’m going to be half-Bosnian, half-American because I came here when I was 12. At 25, I started joking around saying I’m more American because I’ve been here longer.” On maintaining her cultural identity and the stories of those who came before her, she says that, “It’s very, very important for me never to forget my parents’ experiences or my own experience because I think it’s a sign of disrespect, simply because [if we forget those experiences] we are forgetting all those people who were lost, people who died.”