Abdo Hired!

Abdo, who is originally from Iraq, recently resettled to Colorado with his wife and two children. Abdo (pictured back row, second from the left) was able to participate in the most recent session of the BankWork$ training program. Upon graduation, Abdo interviewed with several local area banks and accepted a job offer from Academy Bank. The bank location is conveniently located close to Abdo's home, and he is loving his new position as a Teller. Abdo has an extensive work history background in Business and Finance, and we cannot wait to see what he will end up pursuing in his new banking career. Congrats Abdo!

Abdo, who is originally from Iraq, recently resettled to Colorado with his wife and two children. Abdo (pictured back row, second from the left) was able to participate in the most recent session of the BankWork$ training program. Upon graduation, Abdo interviewed with several local area banks and accepted a job offer from Academy Bank. The bank location is conveniently located close to Abdo's home, and he is loving his new position as a Teller. Abdo has an extensive work history background in Business and Finance, and we cannot wait to see what he will end up pursuing in his new banking career. Congrats Abdo!

New Axum Library!

In 1993, Ethiopian Community Development Council (ECDC) established the Axumite Heritage Foundation to preserve and promote the cultural heritage of Axum and northern Ethiopia. Since 2001, ECDC been operating a library in the restored ‘Inda Nebri’id, the former home of the governor of Axum. After discussions with city officials and residents, we realized that the current building could no longer meet the community’s growing needs, and we began work on a permanent modern library. The new library will have enlarged reading rooms, an auditorium, and classrooms, which will be used for computer training, literacy classes, and support for local entrepreneurship. Dr. Tsehaye Teferra, ECDC Founder and President, recently traveled to Axum to oversee the ongoing construction and reported that great progress has been made on the new building. He reported at that time that the basic structure has been completed, the roof has been installed, and much of internal framing and plastering on all three levels has been finished. Once completed, we will begin work on landscaping, installing a septic tank, a water conservation system, and solar panels. As you can see from the photos below, we are very close to our goal! With all the progress that has been made, Dr. Teferra is requesting bookshelves to prepare for opening of the new library, and needs help finding resources for donated or reasonably priced shelves or furniture from public libraries, schools, universities, or local residents. Please contact Carrie Thiele at Carriet@acc-den.org to donate items or connect Dr. Teferra with resources to find the needed items.

In 1993, Ethiopian Community Development Council (ECDC) established the Axumite Heritage Foundation to preserve and promote the cultural heritage of Axum and northern Ethiopia. Since 2001, ECDC been operating a library in the restored ‘Inda Nebri’id, the former home of the governor of Axum. After discussions with city officials and residents, we realized that the current building could no longer meet the community’s growing needs, and we began work on a permanent modern library. The new library will have enlarged reading rooms, an auditorium, and classrooms, which will be used for computer training, literacy classes, and support for local entrepreneurship.

Dr. Tsehaye Teferra, ECDC Founder and President, recently traveled to Axum to oversee the ongoing construction and reported that great progress has been made on the new building. He reported at that time that the basic structure has been completed, the roof has been installed, and much of internal framing and plastering on all three levels has been finished. Once completed, we will begin work on landscaping, installing a septic tank, a water conservation system, and solar panels. As you can see from the photos below, we are very close to our goal!

With all the progress that has been made, Dr. Teferra is requesting bookshelves to prepare for opening of the new library, and needs help finding resources for donated or reasonably priced shelves or furniture from public libraries, schools, universities, or local residents. Please contact Carrie Thiele at Carriet@acc-den.org to donate items or connect Dr. Teferra with resources to find the needed items.

Avesta Graduated!

Avesta Rasul just graduated from the Rocky Mountain Digital Academy, an online high school that helped facilitate her starting college less than a year after she arrived. As some of you may know, refugee community members must wait for one year upon arrival in Colorado to be granted in-state tuition rates, which makes college affordable for them. Avesta was determined to start college as soon as she arrived rather than waiting an entire year. Avesta has a strong educational background from Iraq, and because of this she was able to enroll in an online high school which made her eligible for in-state tuition to take classes  at Front Range Community College. Meanwhile she also took online high school classes to finish her U.S. High School Diploma. Congratulations Avesta for your tremendous success!

Avesta Rasul just graduated from the Rocky Mountain Digital Academy, an online high school that helped facilitate her starting college less than a year after she arrived. As some of you may know, refugee community members must wait for one year upon arrival in Colorado to be granted in-state tuition rates, which makes college affordable for them. Avesta was determined to start college as soon as she arrived rather than waiting an entire year.

Avesta has a strong educational background from Iraq, and because of this she was able to enroll in an online high school which made her eligible for in-state tuition to take classes  at Front Range Community College. Meanwhile she also took online high school classes to finish her U.S. High School Diploma. Congratulations Avesta for your tremendous success!

World Refugee Day Recap

The World Refugee Day rally was an exciting success! Celebrations included the Montbello High School drumline and a Bollywood-style dance routine performed by Deepali Lindblom and Roshni, a group which consists of many youth who came to the U.S. as refugees. Interfaith Alliance of Colorado led the rally in a prayer, and the crowd of around 250 people listened as refugees shared their stories.

Travis Weiner shared about his experiences on tour in Iraq and the good people he encountered there. He highlighted the large number of refugees who were admitted to the U.S. during the Vietnam War and mentioned how immigrants and refugees make valuable impacts on our society. Nga Vuong-Sandoval spoke of her journey traveling to the U.S. as a Vietnamese refugee, riding as a toddler on a cargo ship not designed to carry people, and transferring from refugee camps in Alabama and Arkansas until finally settling in Colorado. She is now an Investigator at the Colorado Department of Law, an affiliate professor at Metropolitan State University of Denver and a member of Denver’s Asian-American Pacific-Islander Commission. Daniala Mohammadi shared the trauma of her experience in Afghanistan, and said she would have grown up in her hometown if she not was not forced to flee at age ten because of the Taliban. She just graduated from Denver South High school and earned a full-ride scholarship to the University of Colorado, where she plans to study biomedical engineering.

Denver’s first youth poet laureate, Toluwanimi Obiwole, shared her poetry on how she made Denver her home after immigrating from Nigeria as a child. Governor Hickenlooper spoke last, talking about Colorado’s rich refugee history, read a proclamation declaring diversity makes the state stronger, and officially making June 20th World Refugee Day in the state of Colorado. The event drew all walks of life to celebrate refugees in Colorado. We look forward to seeing you at next year’s celebration of World Refugee Day!

 

The Best Sport? Soccer, According to ACC Youth!

The Best Sport? Soccer, According to ACC Youth!

ACC’s Youth Programs have a long history of coordinating soccer leagues for young refugee men. Thanks to Adidas Group, ACC’s Youth Programs are now able to provide young refugee women an equal opportunity to compete in an indoor co-ed soccer league. For the majority of these young women, the idea of competing in a local indoor soccer league was previously an unimaginable goal due to lack of experience, self-confidence, and equipment to use during practices.
 

Mutaz

Mutaz

“I have friends in security and other jobs like that who did not give me a lot of motivation.  They said I would not be able to get a job in engineering because of my name, because of American ideas of my accent.  Every day I made 50 applications and thanks for God, I made it.”

Min

Min

Working from an auto body shop in Malaysia, Min Tun took pride in auto body painting and restoration. He had dreams of someday opening his own business to turn around cars.

Originally from Burma, Min came to the United States in 2013. Within weeks of his arrival, he started attending African Community Center (ACC)’s Job Club and studying English at Emily Griffith School. Even during Job Club activities at ACC, Min talked about his dream of working with cars again...

Ruqiya

Ruqiya

After months of unemployment, Ruqiya desperately wanted to work, but was frustrated in her job search and didn’t know what else to do.  After discussing options at the African Community Center (ACC), arrangements were made for her to attend a combination of one-on-one Supplemental Employment Services (SES) appointments and Job Club to help her learn tools critical for her job search...