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Former refugee interns help newly arrived youth

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Alice and Josephine had planned on spending their summers helping internationally, but COVID-19 caused those plans to change. They are, instead, spending their summer interning with IRC’s Youth program remotely. Both were resettled by the IRC in Dallas and have both been active and inspiring members of their communities since they arrived.

Alice graduated high school with her diploma and an associate’s degrees, and just finished her first year at Texas Tech. She was originally scheduled to be in Amman, Jordan this summer. Over the years, Alice has taught refugee youth at Heart House, interned at the City of Dallas’ Office of Welcoming Communities and Immigrant Affairs, and worked at the law office of Moser Patterson and Sheridan. She has also volunteered for IRC and most recently wrote for our website .

Josephine graduated high school with a 4.0 and just completed her freshman year at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. She would have been in Haiti for the first part of the summer. You may remember Josephine from IRC’s Brave Girl Rising panel, graduation dinner, or her Youth Voices article. Most recently, Josephine has led fundraising campaigns to support youth in Africa through the Pangea Network and UNICEF, and has also spent her time volunteering with the Black Student Union, Caribbean African Student Assembly, and the Student Program for Urban Development. The Mennonite Central Committee is supporting Josephine in her time at the IRC.

Alice and Josephine are helping the Youth the program serves by both working with students who speak their language, assisting with casework, and connecting students to

resources. Josephine recently did a talk with students explaining the Common Application and about finding the right college for you.

As remote interns, since they are missing out on the traditional office experience, we have arranged calls with various office members to learn about the Immigration department, Asylum Seeking Families, the staff side of Reception and Placement, Employment, and the Mental Health department among others.

They also have been able to learn from community partners who lift up refugees and immigrants in the Dallas area and around the world like the Bush Institute, Stella Chavez who is a local reporter, Jin-Ya Huang with Break Bread, Break Borders, a former IRC employee who now works with Mercy Corps in Jordan, and the Child Advocate Supervisor at the Young Center for Immigrant Children's Rights.

We are lucky to have these remarkable young women this summer and hope their time at the IRC this summer will be just as rewarding for them as it is for us. We look forward to watching their bright futures unfold.