Each month this year, Amplio will be highlighting a different non-profit partner providing job preparation and job training within the refugee communities we serve. More than just words, we are committing to financially support the work of the partner we select each month and want you to join us! We will match every dollar given to the Amplio Foundation this month, up to $1000, in support of this month’s partner.
Our partner spotlight for the month of March is New American Pathways in Atlanta, Georgia. Amplio is privileged to partner with New American Pathways and the Coalition of Refugee Service Agencies (CRSA) for the second year in a row, to sponsor their annual New Americans Celebration at the Georgia State Capitol on March 15th.
As a member of the CRSA, New American Pathways helps organize the New Americans Celebration as part of their Civic Engagement program— one of the many distinct programs designed to promote safety, stability, self-sufficiency and success for refugees in Georgia.
Recently we had the honor of interviewing CEO, Paedia Mixon and Civic Engagement Manager, Stephanie Ali to learn more about how their organization is putting refugees and their families on the pathway to success.
New American Pathways was formed in October 2014 when the former Refugee Resettlement and Immigration Services of Atlanta (RRISA) and Refugee Family Services (RFS) merged together under one roof, joining forces to increase their effectiveness in helping refugees during their first months after arriving in the United States.
Paedia, who had been with RRISA since 2005, was named Pathway’s CEO and given the daunting task of piloting the new organization. Now, more than three years later, Paedia praises her team, calling them “smart, talented and passionate” and adding they’re “one of the greatest teams of anywhere [she’s] worked”.
As one, the organization actively designs programs that meet the specific challenges refugees face upon arrival. They provide “proven pathways for refugees and other immigrants to realize their full potential while becoming productive, contributing members of Georgia’s communities.”
Paedia explains what makes their program not only unique, but successful:
“We look at serving refugees as being on a journey with the families we serve. The continuum of services are designed to meet them where they are and help them on their pathway to citizenship, reaching key milestones along the way. The programs build on one another. Traditional resettlement agencies help [refugees] become safe, stable and reach self-sufficiency—we see that as a jumping board.”
These programs cover a broad span including: jobs, education, cultural integration, individual and female empowerment, building strong families, and civic engagement.
Their approach has proven effective. New American Pathways is empowering over 5,000 refugees every year to become successful and productive members of their new homes. Contributions from individuals and grants from companies like Coca-Cola have enabled them to create new programs that fill the gaps in successful refugee resettlement like their Women’s Employment program. This program, which is still in its beginning stages, helps often overlooked refugee and immigrant women overcome barriers, such as childcare, to be able to pursue careers and contribute to their families’ success.
But the two of the programs Paedia and Stephanie are most excited about in 2018 are also the ones still in need of funding.
The first is their Forward program, designed to help refugees and immigrant take the crucial next step of moving from a job that helps pay bills to a sustainable, fulfilling career. “The Forward program focuses on advanced English literacy, mentoring and advanced job placement,” Paedia explains. “It moves someone making $10-12 an hour to a career that will sustain them and take advantage of the skills they bring.”
The second is their Civic Engagement program. Stephanie Ali, who started as an intern in 2012, has taken the reins on this relevant initiative. An advocate for refugees and immigrants, she has an unparalleled passion for helping them learn the ins and outs of the government, their rights, and how they can take action.
“In 2017 we were able to register over 5,500 new citizens to vote,” Stephanie shares, “That’s 5,500 people who want to be a part of the conversation instead of being talked about.”
“If you’re not at the table, you’re on the table,” she states bluntly, adding that she’s seeing more and more interest because of the current political climate.
Birhane Kini is a 22 year old Eritrean young man who was resettled along with his family in Clarkston 4 years ago through New American Pathways. Birhane was placed by Amplio into a maintenance tech position with a local apartment complex and is now accessing further support from New American Pathways in the process of becoming a US citizen. Birhane shares his excitement by saying, “The citizenship process is going well and when I can say I am a citizen it will make me very proud.”
Together these two honorable programs are approximately $76,000 short on funds for the 2018 calendar year. As passionate supporters of refugee entrepreneurship, job preparation and career skills development, we are excited about the Forward program and the “hand-up” it will provide Georgia refugees.
We would love for you to join us in supporting New American Pathways in their mission to help refugees and immigrants on the pathway to success. As our March partner, any donation you give to the Amplio Foundation will be matched (up to $1,000) and given to their worthy cause.
Additionally, we invite you to join us on Thursday, March 15th from 8:00am until 11:30am for the New Americans Celebration. We will meet at the Catholic Shrine of the Immaculate Conception (48 M.L.K. Jr. Drive SW, Atlanta) and proceed to the State Capitol. If you would like to join up, send us an email to let us know you’re coming.
To make a charitable donation, visit the Amplio Foundation page. Scroll down and click the Donate Now button. Fill in the amount and payment information, as well as whether you would like for it to be a one-time gift or recurring donation. Click the Give button and you’re done! Thank you for partnering with us to support the refugee workforce.