I am first and foremost a proud Muslim from South Florida (but I was born in Bangladesh). I am also a University of Richmond spider, Gates Millennium Scholar, an avid language learner who can speak 5 languages (more in progress), double majored in International Studies and Arabic, and lived two spirited years abroad in Jordan and Italy. As someone who has experienced multiculturalism in all its forms- the good, bad, and the ugly- immigrant and refugee issues are among my horde of passions. Refugee AmeriCorps is an important initiative needed to unite American communities to the disenfranchised people of the world regardless of their dissimilar backgrounds. I feel incredibly lucky to be a part of a team that is working with these ever so relevant issues fresh out of college and I look forward to an enriching year of service with CWS. Aside from obtaining tension migraines over humanitarian issues, I enjoy brooding over the sure-to-be-complicated cultures of my future descendants and other hypertension inducing thoughts only a culture and language preservationist, environmentalist, and feminist can have. To combat such contemplations from hijacking my mental sanity, I like to concoct my own food and drink recipes, imitate Shakespeare, plant things, plot ways to get my cat to love me, and watch intolerable TV.
Hi my name is Grace and I’m an architecture and engineer student here in Michigan. I come from the Democratic Republic of Congo, and lived in Kenya before moving to the States. Hence I speak 4 and ½ languages (English /French /Swahili /Lingala / Tshiluba). My passion for building environments and their effect on the people which they serve directed me to join as an AmeriCorps member with CWS. My hope is that interacting with people of different backgrounds, especially those from war torn countries, will give me a better understanding of the environment which people will need, and ultimately, make me a better architect for my home country where I plan to work.
My name is Vung Ksor. I was born in a small Montagnard village in the Central Highlands of Vietnam. Many Montagnards worked alongside Americans during the Vietnam War. Now North Carolina has the largest Montagnard population outside of Vietnam. When I came to the United States as a young girl, I knew only one word of English, “Hello.” I struggled with this new country just like many other newcomers. This year, I graduated from Guilford College. I majored in Community and Justice Studies and was a Bonner Scholar doing community projects and working with the immigrant and refugee communities. I am excited to be part of Refugee AmeriCorps and CWS in Greensboro. I look forward to working with new arrivals, building relationships with community partners, and helping to make the community a welcoming place for everyone.
Megan Hinton joined Church World Service in July 2017 as an Intensive Community Orientation AmeriCorps Member. Megan graduated from James Madison University in 2015 with a B.A. in International Affairs and History. Previously, Megan worked as a Program/Publications Assistant at the Center for International Stabilization and Recovery in Harrisonburg, VA and as Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. In the future, she hopes to attend a graduate program in public affairs or administration.
Hey I’m Emily! I’m a Michigan Wolverines fan living in Buckeye Nation, and because of that I am stronger. I have passions for different cultures, people, hiking, and ice cream! I graduated from Cornerstone University with a degree in Social Work/Social Justice and I’m passionate about refugee services. I’m so excited for this year of service with AmeriCorps and all that I’ll be learning!
Hi, my name is Fareedah. I recently graduated with my Bachelors of Science from the University of Pittsburgh. At Pitt, I was involved in on-campus organizations and off campus work with local resettlement agencies. Through my involvement, I became increasingly interested in community health. I hope that my year with AmeriCorps allows me to gain the tools necessary to continue working to increase healthcare knowledge and accessibility within refugee communities.
Jenna recently graduated from Boston University with majors in International Relations and Economics. In addition to these courses, she pursued the study of the Arabic language and service work with refugees, culminating in a semester abroad in Jordan volunteering with refugees from throughout the Middle East and Africa. Jenna is currently serving as the AmeriCorps Intensive Community Orientation Member with CWS. She hopes to gain further knowledge of her diverse home community, and provide a platform for increased understanding and cultural fusion.
Prior to serving with AmeriCorps, Sarah received her bachelor’s degree in International Studies from Ramapo College, where she focused on human rights, migration, and cultural anthropology. During her education, Sarah spent four months in Karnataka, India, where she conducted research on rights of displaced tribal persons. Her passions include learning languages, traveling, and writing.
Brittany has both a Bachelor’s degree in Teaching English as a Second/Foreign Language and a Master’s degree in Secondary Education specializing in ESL from Liberty University. Her professional experiences vary from instructing at various higher-education IEP programs to teaching community ESL classes for adults. Brittany has previously taught ESL in India, Turkey, and Greece. Her experiences visiting and working with asylum seekers in Turkey and the island of Chios, Greece inspired her to become more fully involved in the refugee resettlement process in the United States. Brittany is excited to play a part in welcoming and empowering refugees in their journey towards peaceful resettlement through her role as an Intensive Community Orientation AmeriCorps Member.
My name is Hamed. I am from Afghanistan. I graduated from high school in 2012. I started working with United States military advisors in my country as interpreter/ translator in DynCorp International Company. Our mission was to train Afghan National Police (ANP) and the Afghan army (ANA). I participated in training classes to train the ANP and ANA in many different parts of their duties. During the five years working with US army advisors, I put my life in jeopardy, received threats, and faced rocket launches and suicide bombers. I survived, and unfortunately I lost some of my friends in these incidents who eagerly wanted to help the people who really need help. The dedication they had was admirable. We were willing to perform the hard work of helping the people who suffered from poverty, lack of security, education, corruption and unemployment in their lives. We always focused on the glory we could create and focused on the difference that we could make in the lives of other people. It inspired me to struggle to the challenges that I faced and ever gave up helping others. In 2014, I moved as a refugee to start new life. I worked as a taxi driver and volunteered at CWS. I have taken refugees shopping, to the DMV for driving tests, and registered them in English classes. I am serving as AmeriCorps member (since July, 2016) and have been helping other refugees with home and health orientation. I feel very happy to working in CWS, because I am helping those people who are really in need of help, and I can understand the unique need of refugees, because I came through this process. I am also in the unique position to advocate for our work, our clients, and our impact–including how our clients improve their knowledge in the area of housing and health to adjust themselves to the community and become self -sufficient in short period of time. It has been my honor to be part of this program to implement Intensive Community Orientation ( ICO ) to the many different refugees we resettle. It is rewarding to see them become self-sufficient and engaged in a healthy community.
My name is Faridah. I was born in Republic of Congo (DRC). I was a refugee in the Uganda Nakivale camp. I worked with refugees for five years, helping them take care their kids at the time their parents had doctor’s appointments and UNHR appointments. I moved to the USA in February 2014 and started to work at Pompieri pizza. I started as a dishwasher and moved up to the line cook position. In 2014, I started taking CNA classes and interpreting at CWS. I am fluent in Kinyarwanda, Swahili, French, Kinyabwisha and Luganda. At CWS, I worked with newly arrived refugees, showing them how to open bank accounts and how to use the bus. In my free time, my son and I like to watch movies. I am excited to be working as an AmeriCorps member working with refugees.