Starting your career over in a new country with different requirements, customs, and vocabularies can be an intimidating endeavor. That’s why Global Talent brings together New American job seekers and local business professionals for a day of networking and interview practice.
Global Talent’s most recent Career Summit took place March 17 at the College of Western Idaho in Boise, sponsored by JPMorgan Chase & Co. Two dozen Idaho business professionals came together to network with and coach 10 Global Talent job seekers from countries including Mexico, Ukraine, Afghanistan, Turkey, and Columbia.
Job seekers went through multiple rounds of practice interviews for a hypothetical job in their field, whether that be education or management, engineering, or filmmaking.
“It’s a really important and heartfelt mission. I’m glad to be a part of this, and acknowledging all the courage it takes to put yourself on the line interviewing.”
Thank you to every volunteer and job seeker for putting yourselves out there! These connections and times of growth are so important, both for the job seekers and for the Idaho communities who will benefit from the skills and experience they bring.
Teachers from the English Language Center in Boise will present in Portland this month at the TESOL 2023 International Convention & English Language Expo, the largest professional development event of its kind.
The staff will share their success in using WhatsApp to virtually teach students, many of whom don't have easy access to Wi-Fi, computers or transportation.
The English Language Center serves adults coming to Boise through refugee resettlement, and access to a computer or a vehicle is often a challenge. WhatsApp, a free and widely used smartphone messaging app, has proved to be a valuable tool even now that classes have switched to a hybrid model.
“Many of our students didn’t even have a smartphone or own their own cellphone at all before they came here,” said ELC Curriculum Coordinator Devon Jancin. “So the lack of technology access is a huge problem with online learning, and our presentation is giving direct solutions for how to bridge that gap.”
Students have given positive feedback, too.
“WhatsApp helps me learn English online because it’s good for listening," ELC student Abdul said. "I can repeat again and again.”
Will you be at the TESOL Conference? Come say hi and check out the English Language Center’s presentation!
New teachers join the ELC
The English Language Center, a program of the Idaho Office of Refugees in Boise, is pleased to welcome two new teachers, Lila Lake and Rylee Godfrey!
Lila Lake earned a bachelor’s degree in English at Boise State University in 2015 and has been working with students ever since. She spent eight years as a high school English teacher in the Treasure Valley and has taught everything from creative writing to a business writing workshop. Her favorite thing about teaching being part of a community of learners and watching her students’ confidence grow! She couldn’t be more thrilled to join the English Language Center to continue her teaching journey. When she isn’t teaching, Lila can be found hiking in the foothills, learning how to sew her own clothes, and traveling.
Rylee Godfrey found her passion in teaching and working with refugees at Boise State University where she received her bachelor's in English, emphasis in Linguistics. She started as a service-learning volunteer in Project SHINE (Students Helping in the Naturalization of Elders) and went on to get her TESOL certificate. Rylee then continued work at BSU in Project SHINE as well as working as a Research Assistant, evaluating and assisting in the development of English Language/job-related programs. Rylee is semi-fluent in American Sign Language and finds a home in a classroom full of students from all over the world. She is ecstatic to continue her academic career as an ESL teacher at the English Language Center. In her free time, you will find her reading a book, listening to music or exploring the mountains with her three dogs.
New Welcome Corps Program
The U.S. State Department has announced a major pilot program that will expand private sponsorship of refugees.
The new Welcome Corps program, a public-private partnership, will make it possible for everyday Americans and institutions to privately sponsor refugees from across the world in search of safety in the U.S.
Welcome, Nawid & Anna, to IOR
The Idaho Office for Refugees welcomes new team members Nawid Mousa and Anna Galitsyna.
Nawid will be managing the Ethnic Community Self-Help Program to support the Afghan community in Idaho. The program aims to open an Afghan cultural center in the Treasure Valley in the first half of 2023.
Anna is our new Operations Coordinator. Her organizational skills and attention to detail will streamline our operations and help build stronger connections with our grantees and partners.
Dave Morris, a local leader with the YMCA, has joined the Idaho Office for Refugees as Resettlement Services Manager. In his new role, Morris will work closely with resettlement agency partners and support frontline work with refugees.
Morris developed a passion for community service through a 23-year career in YMCA leadership, most recently as executive director of the Downtown Boise YMCA. He’s no stranger to the local refugee community. At the Y, Morris organized Welcoming Week events, connected refugee community members with opportunities to become members, and worked with refugee resettlement organizations to support youth programming.
“In my work with our community’s refugee support agencies over the years, what I experienced again and again was a strong shared desire to improve the lives of others and make this world better for everyone,” Morris said. “I want to see Idaho as a welcoming place for everybody, and the Idaho Office for Refugees really does a lot to further that cause.”
We are beyond grateful to KeyBank for their generous grant of $200,000. The funding will support refugee and immigrant farmers and business professionals in our Global Gardens and Global Talent programs.
For example, we'll now be able to expand our Global Gardens community garden and launch a business-focused English class for our Global Talent job seekers.
"We're so excited to have support from KeyBank to really address needs that we've seen over the years," said Hannah Roche, manager of Global Talent. "For example, we will be creating a business English class for Global Talent participants that will increase their ability to thrive in the workplace.”
"With this grant we will be developing the community garden, which is in Boise city limits and also in a low-income area," said Rabiou Manzo, who managed Global Gardens for the past three seasons. "That will provide fresh vegetables to people and produce less greenhouse gases. Farmers will learn techniques to increase yield and decrease food waste. We are hoping this will increase racial and financial equity for refugee farmers in Idaho."
Read the full press release here, and check out the feature in the Idaho Press' Town Talk.
Najib Amani worked with the U.S. Armed Forces in Afghanistan for eight years in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. While he was flying missions, his wife was serving a mission of her own. Najib’s wife is an educator with a special passion to educate Afghan girls and women.
After the fall of Afghanistan in the 2021, Najib followed orders to evacuate his plane out of the country. The cost of that order was leaving his wife and their two children behind. Najib’s wife kept teaching, in person and on Zoom. Teaching is her life’s mission.
Since 2021, the Taliban has restricted the rights of women and girls to attend school. In March of this year, the Taliban denied education for girls above 6th grade. In December of 2022, the Taliban extended that edict to women and girls attending public and private universities.
Najib brought the Boise community together on Dec. 22 on the steps of the Idaho State Capitol to stand for his wife, daughter, and all women of Afghanistan. He is joining with Afghan and human rights advocates internationally to demand, “Let the Afghan girls go to school!”
Najib said he does not think it is fair that his son should be able to receive an education while his daughter should stay home, the Idaho Statesman reported, and he will continue to voice his support for women in his home nation, even from afar.
Hannah Roche and Zahraa Naser, members of the Global Talent team at IOR, take part in a rally supporting Afghan girls' education. Najib Amani, who organized the rally, is a client of Global Talent and is working to become certified as a pilot in the U.S. His wife, daughter and son remain in Afghanistan.
Early Bird Registration is now open for the 2023 Idaho Conference on Refugees: Creating Connection.
The two-day conference, February 22 & 23 at Boise State University, is geared toward professionals working with refugees in Idaho and toward community members with lived refugee and immigrant experience.
Workshops are curated to present avenues of advocacy, increase community capacity, expand cultural awareness, and provide continuing education credits for eligible professions.
Keynote, local artist performances and plenary sessions will be inspirational and visionary.
Registration includes built-in networking opportunities and a full breakfast and lunch for both days with many vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options! A special Neighbors United Reception is planned for Wednesday, Feb. 22nd, 4:30-6:30 p.m.; all registrants are welcome.
We are thrilled to welcome New York-based artist and illustrator Jane Chu as our keynote speaker. Jane has traveled the country to share the stories of refugees and immigrants in a unique way -- including Idaho's own Palina Louangketh. Jane is inspired by the journey her own mother took at a young age, leaving behind all she knew to find a life of safety and opportunity.
Please join us for a time of connection, growth and learning. Scholarships are available, and fee waivers are offered for attendees from refugee backgrounds.
SPONSORS & VOLUNTEERS
If you or your company would like to come alongside us by sponsoring this event, volunteering, or hosting a table for your organization, we would love to hear from you!
The Idaho Conference on Refugees is presented by Boise State University and the Idaho Office for Refugees.
Giving Tuesday raffle!
Giving Tuesday raffle! Donate to the Idaho Office for Refugees this Giving Tuesday (Nov. 30) and be entered to win prizes from Food Land Market, Sunshine Spice Cafe, and Story Story Night.
Click here to give and enter the raffle.
Author: Holly Beech
Idaho Office for Refugees Communications Manager
Thank you to the generous organizations who
support our outreach: