It's our favorite time of year! The IRC in Atlanta’s Youth Futures and New Roots programs are celebrating 10 IRC students graduating from high school in the Class of 2023! These seniors have shown incredible work ethic and dedication throughout their high school journey!
Where the Youth Futures Class of 2023 are Headed:
Honors and Scholarships
This year we are thrilled to share that many of our students graduated with honors to boast! Abel Worku finished the school year as an Honors graduate while two other students, Elvis Hong and Sumaiya Shujaie, were selected as Superintendent Scholars! Giesel Agahozo was selected as one of two recipients of the Clarkston 360 award and two more students received the Bonner Scholarship from Berry College!
“It helps me to prepare for my senior year, also for my college application and scholarships. It really helped me a lot.”
—Philipos Behanie, Youth Futures Class of 2023
Students reflected warmly on their experience at Clarkston High School: “Clarkston makes me unique since Clarkston has diverse people around the world,” shared 2023 graduate Philipos Behanie, originally from Ethiopia. When asked how Youth Futures staff helped him in his high school journey, Philipos shared, “It helps me to prepare for my senior year, also for my college application and scholarships. It really helped me a lot.” Though he plans to study computer science at Berry College and dreams of using his studies to “invent new things that can help [his] community,” Philipos is an artist at heart—he also shared that of his many accomplishments as a student, the most memorable part of his senior year was “My guitar performance for an audience, it had great feeling! I’m most proud of my flute and guitar club, also my friends who were with me.” We are so proud of Philipos for all his hard work and accomplishments!
The IRC in Atlanta is grateful to all who helped support our students to this monumental rite of passage, especially our partners at Clarkston High School for hosting our Youth programs and Step Ahead Scholars! A longtime partner of the IRC in Atlanta, Step Ahead Scholars has collaborated with us to cultivate a spirit of curiosity, self-confidence and hard work among our refugee students. Step Ahead Scholars is led by Ms. Debra Nealy who tirelessly commits herself to helping each student achieve their dreams of college. She has successfully secured millions in scholarships and acceptances for students to top schools such as University of Chicago, George Washington University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Emory University and many others. As Philipos put it, “Ms. Nealy is the best!" We also thank Kamal Carter, Founder of Step Ahead, who shared at a graduation ceremony for the Step Ahead Scholars Class of 2023: “We believe in the next step of your adventure. Some people will go to college, some people will go to technical school, some people will go to work. We just want you to know that we’re here and we got you...I see greatness in each and every one of y’all.” Thank you, Step Ahead Scholars!
Class of 2023 – IRC Youth Futures Graduates
Eh Pla Soe, Khee Lar Soe, Neelab Karimi, Giesel Agahozo, Philipos Bedhanie, Abel Worku
Class of 2023 – IRC New Roots Garden Club Graduates
Elvis Hong, Eh Ka Lue Kee La Wah, Sumaiya Shujaie, Shabnam Shujaie
Please join us in congratulating these amazing graduates! We are incredibly proud of their accomplishments and can’t wait to see all they will continue to achieve 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 Senior Development Manager, Heloise Ahoure, at [email protected] or 678-636-8941.