On July 25, the IRC in Atlanta’s Connect 2 Success (C2S) program hosted its third annual Career Panel—adapted to a virtual platform for the first time due to COVID-19. The C2S program provides holistic support to refugee youth and young adults ages 16-24, to help them reach their long-term education and career goals through one-on-one coaching and group workshops.
30 young adults logged in to hear directly from a panel of professionals working across a variety of fields and learn more about their career options as they plan for the future.
The panel featured representatives from the agriculture, government, healthcare, engineering, and nonprofit fields. Each panelist shared their personal education and career paths to their current positions and provided helpful advice to our young people.
Panelist, Joyeuse Muhoza, is an alumna of the C2S program who enrolled soon after she was first resettled in the U.S. in 2016. Although her journey was not smooth or easy, Joyeuse was able to reach her goal of enrolling in college in 2018 to earn her Associates Degree in Nursing. She currently works as a Patient Care Assistant at Emory University Hospital Bone Marrow and Stem Cell Transplant Center, and was recently accepted to the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Program at Chamberlain University’s College of Nursing and will commence her studies this September. Joy emphasized the importance of networking and provided examples from her journey of how networking helped her to reach her goals.
C2S volunteer, Dr. Michele Aslami, PharmD, provides mentorship to IRC clients who are interested in becoming pharmacists. During the panel discussion, Dr. Aslami shared insights on the benefits and challenges of working in the pharmacy sector. One young attendee from the IRC’s Youth Futures program, Dawt, later shared, “It was helpful, based on the pharmacist talking, it was interesting. I would like to see more events like this in the future.”
The panel also featured the IRC in Atlanta’s very own Resettlement Manager, Birtukan Assefa, who shared about her social work background and her experience working in the nonprofit sector. Many students had questions about working in nonprofits and higher education options.
Cody Burnett, Farm Manager of our partner organization, Fresh Harvest, provided students with insights on careers in the agriculture field. Many of the IRC’s Youth program participants are actively engaged in gardening through our New Roots program and are passionate about gardening and growing food. The students were able to learn from Cody how they can turn their love of gardening into a career.
We were also thrilled to have Maria Fernanda Lancheros, Immigration Liaison for Congressman Hank Johnson—the federal representative for the majority of our students. Maria spoke passionately about her career pathway into this government role and the advocacy work she does on behalf of immigrants and refugees in Georgia.
Finally, we had Aerospace Engineer and Graduate Researcher at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Samuel Burnett, who discussed his work as an engineer and expressed an interest in continuing to volunteer with the IRC to mentor our young clients! We are very thankful for Samuel’s enthusiasm as we have many students who are interested in pursuing engineering.
Our young attendees were highly engaged throughout the panel and asked many questions. We are so grateful to our panelists for taking time on a stormy Saturday to provide encouragement and support to our young clients. The IRC in Atlanta’s C2S program plans to continue hosting career panels on a regular basis so we can continue to expose our students to a variety of career pathways.
To learn more about the work of the IRC in Atlanta and for information on how you can get involved with the IRC as a donor or volunteer, please contact Development Director, Marian Dickson, at Marian.Dickson [at] Rescue.org or 601-310-3174.