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Meet the IRC: Iris & Gul

The IRC in Elizabeth is luckily connected to many of New Jersey's exceptional universities through internship opportunities. Gul, an intern with the IRC's Economic Empowerment program, joined the office from Rutgers University, majoring in Linguistics with a minor in German. 

"I am originally form Turkey. I was always interested in working in diverse environment and helping others in need," writes Gul. "Looking for places like that, I came across the IRC. A friend of mine was able to get one of the supervisor's email at the office, and after sending my resume to them I was invited for an interview." As an Economic Empowerment intern, Gul worked with clients to secure employment through assisting with job applications, resume preparation, and interview practice. 

Gul connected with Iris, an IRC client while working in the office, and reflects on the experience below.

Iris applying her teaching skills in New Jersey. Photo: Gul Conger/IRC.

Iris (21) is a Refugee from El Salvador. She went to high school in her hometown, she studied Biology for 2 years at a university in El Salvador. From day one, Iris was dedicated to build herself a new life in her new home. Regardless of her limited English at the time, she started looking for a job to start saving up money. She received numerous amounts of Job Readiness Trainings at the International Rescue Committee. She has secured a job at a restaurant, and started saving up money. At the same she attended to a local community college to improve her English to eventually obtain a degree. Iris was always inspired by her teachers; she saw how education can impact one's life. Therefore she was inspired to become one herself. After countless hours of working and studying, Iris had an opportunity to pursue her dream. She currently works as a teacher aide at a local public school. Iris is just one of the many individuals at the International Rescue Committee, who did not let their personal hardships prevent them from achieving their dreams. 

Thank you to both Iris and Gul for their outstanding commitment and dedication! We are so proud of Iris's achievement and Gul's contribution to the IRC in Elizabeth's Economic Empowerment team. 

To support refugees like Iris and work like Gul's, please click here.