May Volunteer of the Month: Lauren Fink
This month, we honor Lauren Fink as an “everyday hero.” Lauren previously served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Tanzania and is a recent graduate of Emory’s Rollins School of Public Health, where she helped coordinate the Clarkston-Rollins Connection. Through the Clarkston-Rollins Connection, students engage in service opportunities with the Clarkston community in partnership with refugee-serving organizations like ours.
Along with some of her classmates, Lauren chose to do her service in our Family Match program. She also serves as a mentor to one of the girls in our Young Women’s Leadership program and has assisted our Community Engagement Program with tasks such as community events.
The Family Match program connects volunteers with newly arrived refugee families to offer support in ESL tutoring, grocery shopping, English conversation practice, or other activities and services based on specific needs. As a Family Match volunteer, Lauren has served multiple families and is currently serving alongside two classmates to help three women from Afghanistan and their children. These Afghan families are refugees who came here through the Special Immigrant Visa program. This program expedites to the U.S. families whose lives are in danger after having been employed by, or having worked on behalf of, the U.S. government in Afghanistan.
Lauren says these women, who were non-literate in their own language before arriving in the U.S., are “the wives of men who put themselves in so much danger to work for our military and help the U.S. government.” She is honored to be a part of their resettlement process.
When she and her classmates come to help the family, they split up so two can focus on helping the mothers learn English while one teaches the children. Lauren once engaged her mentee from the Young Women’s Leadership program in teaching the children the Arabic alphabet.
Lauren has made a tremendous impact on the lives of these families and we are proud to honor her work.