On Saturday July 21, a group of volunteers from Bank of America generously donated their time to support an Economic Empowerment workshop at the IRC in Atlanta office. The volunteers worked one-on-one with clients, providing support with writing resumes, conducting mock interviews and sharing insights into the American job market.
Opportunities to hone these skills are essential for newly-arrived refugees who are highly motivated to secure employment and provide for their families. The IRC in Atlanta's team of employment specialists—supported by volunteers, interns and community partners—provides vocational counselling, job search and placement services, and workplace orientation and training, to ensure clients are able to meet their financial needs and contribute to their new communities.
IRC Employment Supervisor, Kristen Wright, helped to organize the event. “We love having community involvement in our work,” she said, “it’s great to draw on the expertise of Atlanta professionals and connect volunteers with clients who can really benefit from their knowledge and experience."
As conversations developed throughout the morning, some of the volunteers shared that they had also been refugees when they first came to the United States, and how excited they were to be able to work with those who were still finding their feet in Atlanta. Clients worked with volunteers to draft and touch up their resumes, with career goals ranging from medical assistant to banker.
Luhasa came to the workshop without a formal resume and felt out of practice when it came to job interviews. “I was very happy to find all these new people,” she said of the volunteers, “I shared with them my story and about my career in the Congo, and they really helped me by explaining things about jobs in America that I never knew.”
At the end of the workshop, attendees walked away better prepared to take on the job hunt and already eager to meet with their employment specialists to set up interviews and practice their new skills. The IRC in Atlanta is grateful for the support of these generous Bank of America volunteers and we look forward to hosting more Economic Empowerment workshops in the future.
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 Manager, Kalie Lasiter, at Kalie.Lasiter [at] Rescue.org or 678-636-8941.