Spotlight on AmeriCorps

Sahira Aldaghestani - Employment

“I enjoy helping so many refugees apply for jobs.I remember a time with one of our Syrian clients. She is a mom in her forties, and when I took her to take the exam to get her driver’s license it was the first time using a computer, and the wonderful thing was that she was able to pass that exam, being her first time!”
— Sahira Aldaghestani, Employment Services Member

Sahira helped 51 of our newly arrived refugees get their Georgia IDs.

Kerry Baptiste - Youth Curriculum

“The best thing about this year is getting to meet an amazing group of people, not only in AmeriCorps but also New AP. Forging new friendships that I hope will last, and learning a plethora of things about myself as a person and a teacher that will help me excel in the future.”
— Kerry Baptiste, Youth Curriculum Member

While serving in the Education & Youth Department, Kerry helped enroll 122 refugee youth in our afterschool programs.

Caitlin Barrow - Curriculum Development“The best part of being in AmeriCorps is the relationships I have built with the students. Trust comes slowly and takes time to build. Just the other day a student was asked if she knew where she could go if she had any questions or concerns centering around domestic violence and healthy relationships. She quickly answered that she knew she could always go to Miss Caitlin. It is very rewarding to know I have gained that trust from the students, and they know they can come to me when they have any concerns at home.”
— Caitlin Barrow, Curriculum Development Member

During Caitlin’s service, on average, 63 elementary and middle school students regularly attended our summer program to prevent summer learning loss.

Daniella Bass - Adult Education“My clients and students are my life. They have taught me just as much as I have taught them. Their resilience and kindness are inspiring. I am honored to serve refugees on a daily basis.”

— Daniella Bass, Adult Education Services Member

During Daniella’s service, 150 new Americans were oriented to public transportation in the Atlanta area (MARTA). 

Jessica Doanes“When I started my service term, I met the students in the afterschool program. There were a few who possessed big personalities and some were more reserved. Sunday, one of the shy kids, stood out to me. Throughout the year, I have witnessed her become more outspoken and outgoing, while also witnessing her work tirelessly to achieve literacy on her grade level. Watching the kids grow and learn has been the highlight of my service with New American Pathways.”
— Jessica Doanes, Afterschool Program Member

During Jessica’s service with New AP, students moved up 5.3 reading levels in all afterschool programs.

Kayla Heflin - Cuban EducationOne of my most memorable experiences was the time we did DFCS initial benefits sign-up for 14 Cuban parolees in one day! It was wonderful to see them all making friends with each other and having a good time despite having to be in the office for several hours.
— Kayla Heflin, Cuban Education Services Member

Kayla helped 158 new Americans get Employment Authorization services which allowed them to work. 

Lauren Lowers - Youth EnrichmentI think my highlight of the year has been watching the social adjustment and outstanding academic excellence come from our newly arrived students. Watching many of our elementary students grow into amazing young people and show their love and care for each other has been wonderful.”
— Lauren Lowers, Youth Enrichment Member

Students attained a 90% attendance rate in the afterschool program under Lauren’s service.  


Athra Mahmud - Career Services“I deal with all clients like I’m their mom. Really, my proudest achievement while serving has been getting jobs for a lot of refugees (by the social media Viber) and following up with them.”
— Athra Mahmud, Career Services Member

Under Athra’s service with New AP, she helped new Americans fill out 259 job applications.


Grace Miner - Family Literacy“I’ve loved how kind and warm both the clients and staff of New AP have been. There is almost always a staff member willing and happy to share their lunch, and when I’ve met clients in their homes, so many of them have been insistent on feeding me or making tea. It’s such a simple, yet thoughtful, gesture. “
— Grace Miner, English at Home Member

In our English at Home Program, Grace matched 65 refugees in need of ESL services in their home with volunteer tutors. 

Hope Nishimoto - Community OutreachI would say my highlight for the year was working with congregations in the community to educate them on refugee and immigrant issues and get them involved with the organization. We had a lot of involvement in response to what has been happening in Syria.”
— Hope Gray, Community Outreach Member

During Hope’s service, she helped 33 groups of volunteers come in to serve in a multitude of capacities. 

Teni-Ola Ogunjobi - Volunteer Engagement“The highlight of my service year has been coordinating with all the departments to meet our agency’s intern needs at 100%. With each internship season, I was able to improve the recruitment, the intern interview and selection process, the on-boarding process, and build relationships with intern supervisors and interns themselves. Serving in the Advancement Department has given me insight into nonprofit and volunteer management and shown me what helping refugees and Georgia thrive looks like through impactful refugee resettlement, advocacy, and services. It’s been a pleasure to work towards common goals and serve the refugee and immigrant community as a member of the New AP family.”
— Teni-Ola Ogunjobi, Volunteer Engagement Member

During Teni’s service, she helped recruit 207 new individual volunteers be placed from September 2015 to June of 2016.

Olivia Reburn - YWLP“Spending time with each of the young women in this program has been the most rewarding part of my service. Developing these relationships not only serves them better and improves the program, but I get to learn about each young woman’s unique and inspiring story of adversity and resilience. Working with students like these reminds me every day of why I serve, and who is impacted by our service. I am passionate about what I do, and hope that I inspired the young women to serve their communities.”
— Olivia Reburn, Young Women’s Leadership Member

While serving, Olivia helped enroll 21 refugee youth in our Young Women’s Leadership program and matched them with volunteer mentors.

Alison Sheldon - Community OrganizingI remember the day one client received her report that said her Bachelor’s from her university could be counted as a Bachelor’s degree in the U.S. She was so happy and started to dream again. It has been incredibly rewarding and humbling to be with her through these milestones in her life and support her on her journey.
— Alison Sheldon, Community Organizing Member

While serving, Alison helped 51 new Americans have their foreign credentials evaluated for validity in the United States, and provided job counseling services to 49 individuals.

Aruna Shrestha - Health Services


My proudest achievement was how blessed I was to impact and relieve someone’s life everyday. Even something as small as taking them to a medical appointment and providing them information about the healthcare system.”

— Aruna Shrestha, Health Services Member

During Aruna’s service, she helped orient 153 new Americans to the U.S. Healthcare system. 

Katherine Suarez - Family Engagement“I think my favorite thing about working in my department is that every day there is always something happening, and there was never a dull moment with the staff. From school liaisons to the educators, they always made my day with their stories, and it keeps the mood light and super fun to be around them.”
— Katherine Suarez, Parents as Teachers Member

Katherine helped 82 refugees attend workshops regarding early learning and child development concepts, the American system of education, and local school system policies. 


Daidry Watson - School Liaison“My proudest moment is when I referred a walk-in client from another agency to our Career Services Department for a job opportunity with Home Goods, and he was hired. I was very happy for him and his family.”
— Daidry Watson,  School Liaison Member

During Daidry’s service, school registration was completed for 72 refugee youth.


An affiliate of Church World Service and Episcopal Migration Ministries
Church World Services Episcopal Migration Ministries
2300 Henderson Mill Rd., NE
Suite 100
Atlanta, GA 30345
United Way Community Partner
In partnership with MARTA