As president and COO, Ossa Fisher runs e-learning company Istation, which has become even more crucial as schools shift to remote learning during the pandemic. She credits her passion for education to her upbringing in America as a dual citizen with Swedish roots. Here, she shares her story:
“Some of my fondest memories are of Swedish summers spend in Stockholm. My parents owned a small sailboat that we would take out every weekend and sail through the Swedish archipelago. There are thousands of islands, and we would often sleep on one of them during the weekends.
“When I was 4 years old, my dad was recruited by a California technology company, and we moved to America. We continued speaking Swedish at home; being bilingual helped me into adulthood, in terms of communication. When I went back to Sweden as an exchange student in college, people told me I spoke Swedish fluently, but they knew I wasn’t Swedish because I laughed so loudly.
“Sweden has a more reserved and modest culture, and I enjoyed the boisterous nature of Americans.
“My husband was very keen on Sweden from the beginning; we have visited every summer since our children were born. I always look forward to the multigenerational celebrations during Midsummer’s Eve. The tradition is to pick flowers, spend the morning making wreaths, and then the afternoon singing and dancing around the maypole.
“The June holiday celebrates the summer solstice. Sweden is still a large part of me, and that’s what is wonderful about being American—you can enjoy your past and celebrate your history but still feel fully American, as well.”