The IRC in Atlanta is thrilled to announce that two of our very own—Lauren Bowden and Grace Paulsen—were selected as 2019 Young Nonprofit Professionals Network ‘30 Under 30’ Award recipients! Each year, the Atlanta chapter of this national initiative recognizes 30 young professionals who are making waves in Georgia’s nonprofit sector. We are so proud that our talented team members are included in this esteemed group of awardees. Please join us in congratulating Grace and Lauren and the rest of the incredible ‘30 Under 30’ Class of 2019—the next generation of nonprofit leaders in Georgia!
Lauren Bowden, Career Development Coordinator
I was awarded the 30 under 30 Young Nonprofit Professionals Network Award for my work as Career Development Coordinator at the IRC in Atlanta and I am honored to be recognized for this work. When I started at the IRC as an AmeriCorps member, I knew that if I could have any job at the IRC, I would love to help immigrants move from maintenance-level jobs into engaging, healthy careers. This is difficult work. There are so many systemic injustices and barriers that make it difficult for immigrants to move into middle income jobs. I certainly do not do this work alone. True to my title, I coordinate help from fellow staff, employers, volunteers, community partners, training providers, the client and their community. We do this work because our clients are highly qualified professional people, and they want to contribute their skills and experience to American companies. This award motivates me to continue to help our clients break into new industries and new opportunities, and I am hopeful that we will have continued success in the coming year.
"We do this work because our clients are highly qualified professional people, and they want to contribute their skills and experience to American companies." — Lauren Bowden
Grace Paulsen, Reproductive Health Educator
When I was awarded the 30 under 30 Young Nonprofit Professionals Network Award, I was honored and appreciative for being recognized for my position at the IRC in Atlanta as the Reproductive Health Educator. I began my work at the IRC in Atlanta as an AmeriCorps member teaching Cultural Orientation and English to newly-arrived refugees. In doing that work, I learned the importance of connecting clients—especially young women—to the necessary health education and resources they need. Many refugee women face additional barriers to accessing reproductive health information and services including communication difficulties, low health literacy, unfamiliarity with the healthcare system, and experiences of violence and trauma. My work at the IRC in Atlanta has continued to evolve to better serve clients, including working with refugee young adults and training them to be Youth Peer Health Educators in their community, developing a YouTube video service by and for refugee young women to provide sexual and reproductive health (SRH) education in a culturally relevant manner, and working with other IRC staff to coordinate SRH services that best serve our clients’ needs. The most rewarding part of my position is seeing clients feel empowered because they were able to advocate for their heath needs and be informed about their SRH health rights. I look forward to continuing to advocate for clients’ SRH rights and supporting refugee youth in their health education.
"The most rewarding part of my position is seeing clients feel empowered because they were able to advocate for their heath needs." — Grace Paulsen
Lauren and Grace’s passion, commitment and dedication to not only the IRC in Atlanta, but most importantly to our clients, is so inspiring, and we could not be more fortunate to have them as part of our team.
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.