Bosnian war survivor repays parent’s sacrifice

FullSizeRender (1)

Mia Topic seems like an average sorority sister. She loves her Alpha Delta Pi sisters, being social and making people smile.

Her ambitious attitude was molded by the struggles her family faced. Topic and her parents immigrated to the United States to escape the Bosnian Civil War.

Topic was born in 1993, just as the conflict in Bosnia intensified. She and her mother were forced to flee to Croatia without her father in the midst of war, because men in Bosnia were viewed as larger threat and had trouble leaving the country.

Topic and her mother took refuge in distant friends home in Croatia. Months passed, and they had no contact with her father. Her mother feared the worst.

“We were afraid he died in the war,” said Topic.

However, Topic and her mother weren’t aware that her father, Nevenko, had escaped Bosnia was searching to find his girls.

Six months after Topic and her mother fled Bosnia they were reunited with her father.

“We knew it was him as soon as we heard the knock on the door.” said Topic. “We kept faith he would find us, and he did.”

It was that faith that encouraged her to get involved within her sorority.

Before she was elected director of standards, she was the chaplain for her sorority chapter.

Times were tough when her family immigrated to the United States. Topic felt she only had God to turn to.

She doesn’t follow any certain religion, she explains, just believes in God. She further explains that her sorority is not biased toward any religion and accepts all.

“Starting next semester I will be the director of standards and ethics of ADPi,” said Topic. “I’ll miss being chaplain, but I’m excited to move on and represent the sorority.”

Her new role is to maintain the traditional values that the sorority was found on, which means she has to always be the best role model for her sisters. She’s confident in her ability get the job.

“I am expecting big things from Mia, and I’m confident she will represent ADPi in the best way possible,” said Rachel Baskin, the new President of ADPi.“She’s ambitious, and that’s exactly why we appointed her director of standards and ethics.”

Topic tears up when talking about her parents decision to move. She’s grateful her parents made the journey to the United States, and just wants to do right by them. She knows how much they have given up and wants them to feel happy and secure.

“Life in America is a completely different lifestyle than in the Balkans,” she said. “We had to learn a new language, culture and adapt to a new lifestyle, but I guess it was all worth it.”

Topic’s mother also thinks that the decisions they had to make were worth it, and couldn’t be more proud of her.

“As a parent, I am very proud of everything Mia has done,” said Nina. “I will always be proud of her because she is my daughter. She’s on the right path in life. She takes charge and she knows where we came from, and the obstacles we encountered.”

Topic will take on her position as director of standards and ethics for ADPi in December. She plans to graduate in the fall of 2015, and she hope’s to attend graduate school and wants to live in California.

Her ultimate goal is to one day be able to support her parents the same way they supported her.

“In life everything is a full circle,” she said. Her eyes lit up while thinking of her parent’s. “I just want to be ready for the day I can give back to them.”