Volunteer Engagement is such a big part of our work at New American Pathways. We have volunteers who serve in every program that we offer. This includes English at Home, Immigration, Resettlement, Mentors for Vocational Pathways, our Clothing and Basic Needs closets, among others. Our Afterschool tutoring program is another example of how volunteers serve new Americans. Before we began remote work due to COVID- 19, these volunteers would go into our middle and elementary schools and help refugee students with homework assignments and afterschool lessons.
Since the pandemic, we have had many volunteers who have stepped up and continued their volunteering remotely. Vandana and her daughter Asha are one such example of volunteers who chose to continue their service remotely. As soon as the pandemic affected our organization and we began working remotely, they reached out to see how they could still be of service. They continued to tutor many students. They have developed a special tutoring relationship with one student, Fozia. They went above and beyond, utilizing a variety of technological means to help her with her math assignments. Like all Georgia students, Fozia had to move to remote learning quickly, but she faces other barriers and challenges. Fozia and Asha have become friends and Asha, a high school student at Paideia school, shared this about her volunteer experience.
“She is one of the few contacts I have with kids with the social distancing rules and I so look forward to our virtual meetings. I am so grateful that New American Pathways has given me an opportunity to tutor Fozia and help her with her homework. I look forward to helping other students as well.”
As someone who has worked with volunteers in a variety of organizations, I recognize the influence and impact that volunteers have on individual lives. Our volunteers choose to do the work of assisting refugees in any capacity. They are going above and beyond to continue to offer themselves in this time. We recognize their efforts and value their time. They could be serving elsewhere but they chose New American Pathways. For that we are grateful.