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Refugee youth celebrate graduation from Crawford High

It's that time of year when students are celebrating the start of summer and for many - graduation and the excitement of what comes next. At Crawford High School in City Heights, a large number of students in the graduating class came to the U.S. as refugees and for them, completing their high school education is that much more exciting having experienced times in their lives when there was no school to go and opportunities to look forward to in the future were limited.  Given the opportunity to succeed, they have worked hard and many graduated with honors and will all be attending college in the fall. IRC staff member Anna Glassey said "they have all worked so hard this year and have improved so much since the beginning of the year. Each one has been a part of IRC youth programs tutoring, Peacemakers, Girls Academy & Boys Club and we were so excited to see them graduate." 

Meet some of this year's graduates: 

Photo: Jessica Wawrzyniak

Alisar is a leader in her community, among her peers and in IRC youth programs. When she moved to the U.S. in 2015, she knew little English but was determined to take advantage of the opportunities her family had worked so hard to give her. She attended IRC tutoring, Peacemakers, Girls Academy and many community service events. Three years later, you would not guess that Alisar is such a new member of the community - she was President of Crawford Culture Club, a team member in badminton and a positive influence to her younger sister and community. She was voted “Most Supportive Friend” by IRC Youth Programs. 

Photo: Jessica Wawrzyniak

Islam is a born leader. Since moving to the United States as a child, she has taken every opportunity she could to learn, grow and be involved in the community and give back. This girl never sleeps when it comes to school. She plays sports, attends tutoring, leads campus clubs, and attends IRC Peacemakers and Girls Academy. On top of her senior year classes and activities, she enrolled in college level courses in order to get ahead. She graduated in the top of her class from Crawford High School, is receiving thousands in scholarships, including IRC’s, and will be attending Harris-Stowe State University to study social work.

Photo: Jessica Wawrzyniak

Prior to moving to the United States in 2014, Abdulfatah only dreamt of being able to attend school regularly. After arriving, he was determined to succeed in his education and this month, he accomplished his first goal of graduating high school. He has been a reliable attendee of academic tutoring, a founding member of IRC Boys Club and an active voice in the Peacemakers program and will be receiving the IRC scholarship. He never says no to a challenge and that is why we have no doubt that he will succeed in his goal of becoming an engineer. He was awarded “Most Courageous” in IRC Youth programs and will be attending San Diego City College in the fall. 

Photo: Jessica Wawrzyniak

Seid moved to the United States in 2014 where he immediately enrolled in Crawford High School.  Seid is a lively spirit that is constantly encouraging those around him to challenge themselves and be involved with the community. He is very dedicated to his studies and never settles for “good enough.” He has been awarded with multiple scholarships, including the IRC scholarship and will begin his post-secondary education at San Diego City College where he hopes to earn a degree in engineering or computer science. He was voted “Most Helpful” by IRC Youth Programs.

Photo: Jessica Wawrzyniak

Najat is a ray of sunshine that loves to tell jokes and bring up the spirits of the entire IRC office. The oldest of eight children, Najat was born in Sudan where she lived for seven years until her family was forced to flee. Through high school she was very involved in IRC participating in Peacemakers, Girls Academy and Academic Tutoring. Najat is proudest of her improvement in public speaking by participating in the Peacemakers program where she worked hard to ensure community members understood her journey as a refugee and refugees contributions to our community. Najat has now been living in the US for 4 years, she has graduated high school and will be attending City College.

Congratulations to all our graduates!!

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