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News from Silver Spring, MD

Get the latest updates and event listings from the International Rescue Committee in Silver Spring, MD, and learn how you can help welcome newly arrived refugees.


Show your support for the IRC in Silver Spring

In honor of World Refugee Day, we are selling limited edition IRC in Silver Spring t-shirts & a tote bag for $20 with proceeds going to our local office to support our work! Click the link for more information but hurry, the fundraiser ends July 1st!


Finding Your Voice

This past semester, ten high school students from four different countries were selected to represent their peers on the first IRC CONNECT Leadership Council. The IRC CONNECT Leadership Council was created to offer recently resettled students a formal opportunity to develop their leadership skills,explore civic engagement and build confidence in their ability to create change in our communities.Over the past couple of months, students have participated in a variety of activities including the SUMMIT Leadership Course at George Washington University and workshops focusing on public speaking, critical thinking, and debate skills.


Build Your Future

On April 6th, the IRC, in partnership with Play-well TEKnologies and Peer to Peer, brought 155 students and family members to the University of Maryland for a morning of LEGO-inspired learning. This was the second time that IRC in Silver Spring has had the opportunity to team-up with Play-Well TEKnologies to host a community building event for recently resettled families. “The Play-Well team uses the universal language of fun! Participants ranged from babies to grandparents, all excited to explore a new place and imagine a future at UMD.


Against the Odds: A Journey to Citizenship

Boi Pessima came to the U.S. in 2005 to reunite with her father and siblings to obtain better care for her daughter Mary but leaving her oldest son behind in Sirra Leone. Five years after receiving her green card, she applied for citizenship but was denied twice. She reached out to the immigration team at the IRC and with their support she was able to pass her interview. Now, fourteen years after her arrival in the U.S., she is a U.S. citizen and is excited to vote.


Intern Spotlight: An interview with Keshet Benschikovski

April is National Volunteer Month and the IRC is grateful for our network of over 250 volunteers and interns each year. Last year our volunteers contributed 23,304 hours of labor, the equivalent to over 11 full-time staff members. This month we are featuring an interview with our Logistics and Casework Intern, Keshet Benschikovski, a student at American University’s School of International Service, as she shares why she's proud to work with the IRC in Silver Spring.


GenR: DC Metro

Be A Force For Change in the DC Metro Area


Pizza and Pupusas

The Ayala family arrived in Baltimore in September 2018 after fleeing their home country of El Salvador. The family of six spent their first few months building their new life in Maryland. They took English classes, took English classes, and established a great foundation for their new life. However, it was not until recently that the family got a real opportunity to make friends and not only experience American culture, but share their culture with Americans.


Renewed Vision

After a decade living in a refugee camp in Chad, a Sudanese family comes to the IRC in Silver Spring to finally access to the critical healthcare they need.


Starbucks Is Fulfilling Its Promise To Support Refugees

The IRC is thankful for our continued partnership with Starbucks, who has agreed to hire 10,000 refugees globally. Through these job opportunities, Starbucks is supporting clients as they rebuild their lives and integrate into their local communities. This month we want to highlight a success story from one of our own clients in Silver Spring who was recently hired by Starbucks.


Staff Spotlight: Behind The Scenes with Kemah Brock

As an AmeriCorps within our Intensive Case Management Program, Kemah Brock works directly with clients who have significant mental and/or physical health barriers and need additional support to achieve self-sufficiency.