South High School student and Iraqi refugee Marwan Nassr.

Andrea Dukakis/CPR News

Marwan Nassr arrived at Denver's South High School as a new refugee.

His family came to the U.S. in 2016 after fleeing Iraq and spending several years shuffling between Middle Eastern countries.

Just over two years later, Nassr is the co-president of the student body at Denver's South High School, where he's also captain of the swim team and an advanced placement student.

Nassr was one of several South students whose challenges and triumphs as refugees were chronicled in Denver author Helen Thorpe's 2017 book "The Newcomers." 

Nassr talked to Colorado Matters about adjusting to life in America, especially in a politically charged time for refugees from Muslim countries.