Monthly Archives: August 2012

Denis: Refugee Kids

Recently, I attended the International Rescue Committee’s Summer Youth Program’s graduation. The program was a great success with more than 40 refugee kids graduating. I also attended the summer youth program’s field trip to the Woodland Park Zoo. The kids were full of life and reminded me very much of myself when I arrived in the US as a kid. The IRC’s Summer Youth Program will put these new kids on a great path towards success in school.

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Wuhye: Great Volunteers!

As I’ve been giving more volunteer orientations, I’ve gotten the opportunity to meet a lot of new volunteers and met a particular volunteer who I really connected with. She showed such an interest in volunteering, and our orientation lasted well over the regular time. She enjoyed the orientation so much that she gave me a hug and called the day after to show her appreciation. I hope to meet more volunteers like her.

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Nicola: Closing in on a Final Draft

This past month I have been in editing mode, honing the school orientation toolkits for parents and youth. It is exciting after months of research and process to be nearing a final draft which can be given out to our partners, made available on our website, and potentially used. These toolkits will provide a list of resources and guides that will help orientate and engage youth and families towards the US school system. Each guide presents a series of topics and corresponding materials as well as a list of potential activities and tips towards implementation. It is exciting to be at a point where I can see how these toolkits can serve our Refugee School Impact Grant partners and the newcomer families.  

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Lauren: Summer Adventures

Somali Community Services Coalition’s Summer Adventures youth program is in full swing! Each week, the kids in the program receive instruction in math and literacy and take part in fun activities and field trips surrounding a specific theme. We had Wacky World of Science week, during which we spent some time at the Pacific Science Center learning about ancient Egypt; Adventures with Wildlife week and a trip to the Woodland Park Zoo; Globetrotters week with a trip to the Wing Luke Asian Museum to learn about Asian history and culture; Under the Sea week and a trip to the Seattle Aquarium; and Health, Wealth, and Community week, which included a trip to the Tukwila Fire Station and Tukwila City Hall as well as Marra Farm to learn about urban agriculture and immigrant farmers. A local dentist also visited during Health, Wealth, and Community week and gave the kids free dental exams, free toothbrushes, and a lesson on how to properly brush their teeth.

Pictures from the Summer Adventures program can be found on Somali Community Services Coalition’s Facebook page:

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Wuhye: Volunteer Appreciation BBQ

During the month of June, the Employment and Citizenship department at Asian Counseling and Referral Service held a Volunteer Appreciation BBQ. Employment & Citizenship volunteers, AmeriCorps members, and interns were invited. It was a great time to get to know other volunteers as well as staff members.  It gave me some ideas on volunteer recognition events that I can use in my role as ACRS’s Volunteer Program Assistant.


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Traci: Banzai Sushi

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege to go visit Banzai Sushi, a frozen sushi company that employs one of our clients here at the International Rescue Committee. I went to interview the CEO about his experiences hiring and working with refugees. He told me about the soccer team of Bhutanese refugees the company sponsors, and how they placed 2nd in a regional Bhutanese soccer tournament in California. He also told me about the ways in which the refugees that work at Banzai are shaping the culture of the workplace; their hard work ethic, positive attitudes, and love for their families and community has been an inspiration to him and to the other employees. This was an important experience for me because it showed me the mutuality of our work. While Banzai Sushi is providing our clients with jobs, we are providing them with hard-working employees that will get the job done well. And together they’ve created a partnership and a friendship that goes beyond work.

Find out more about Banzai Sushi at

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