In 2017, I began working on a project developed by one of my writing professors, which was designed to help middle school and high school refugee students explore their identity through the production of both written and digital narratives. This project was developed throughout our class meetings then taken to the North Side Learning Center in Syracuse, New York. I worked with these students in person and remotely to offer my own narratives, and collaboratively develop with them a set of materials focused on the need for increased understanding and tolerance in the current U.S public debates over immigration, religion, and national identity.
In addition to working with students at the NSLC, we developed a partnership with Syrians for Truth and Justice, a human rights organization based in Istanbul, Turkey which supports human rights defenders in Syria that are recording abuses occurring against local populations. We have created a global network with researcher Ahmed Abdelhakim, connecting us with university students in Algeria and in the UK in order to drive discussion and solve the unjust recruiting of ISIS.
Since the beginning of these projects, we have developed community forums to strengthen the international youth development presence locally and globally. We have begun initiatives to open a high school that will offer learning methods for students of all literacy levels with the hope that these students will gain the confidence and capability to attend university or join the workforce during their time in the U.S.
Current Volunteer Projects as of March 2021 (Remote):
- North Side Learning Center Tutoring & Mentoring