NICE Newsletter: July 2014

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Bal and Hari Reach for the Stars

Bal and Hari, refugees from Bhutan, have a dream: to own a house and open their own business—a grocery store. With two children—a six year old son and a one and a half year old daughter—and no income, these dreams seemed far-fetched.
Bal and Hari were resettled to Colorado three years ago. They moved to Texas for a time before settling in Nashville on May 26, 2014 to reunite with family. New to the city and knowing nothing about Nashville, they came to NICE for help finding jobs and enrolling in social services.
NICE’s Employment Program sprang into action, finding Hari a job at Oberto picking, cutting, and packing meat before the family had been in Nashville 3 full weeks. One week later, we placed Bal at Belmont University in housekeeping. Beyond simply having jobs, Bal works the first shift and Hari works the second shift, allowing one to look after their children while the other is at work. In addition, NICE staff helped the family apply for other social services as well, helping them meet their basic needs.
With two jobs and medical care for the whole family, Bal and Hari are saving money in hopes of making their dreams a reality!
Bal and Hari like their new home city because "it is not crowded nor is it as hot as Houston," where they lived in Texas. Hari said "everything is close [to their apartment], Nepali Market is close, and apartment is good." They also "love the beautiful forests and mountains" of Middle Tennessee. “It is very beautiful here,” Bal said.

Speaking for the whole family, Bal said "Thank you to NICE office, to everyone, because they helped a lot. A job is the most important and they helped me finding a job." Bal and Hari are proof that the American Dream still exists. With a great work ethic and a vision for their future, the family is determined to continue to dream and reach their goals. The community is lucky they decided to achieve those dreams in Nashville!

How Can You Help?

NICE is in need of a 12 passenger van to transport students home from our youth program, take refugees to job interviews and more. Do you have one you would like to donate? Would you like to help us purchase one? If so, please contact Jordan Peoples.

Do you have a desire to work with refugees? NICE is in need of teachers and volunteers. Contact 
Kate Burns at 615-678-7273 or by email for more details on this or any of our other volunteer opportunities.
Donate to NICE
Purchase Gat's Book

Announcements and Upcoming Events

Congratulations to the NICE Volunteer of the Month, Flor Bermuda.

"Where Are They Now" is a feature NICE dedicates to previous interns and volunteers, highlighting their current activities and accomplishments. If you are a former intern or volunteer at NICE and would like to be featured, please contact Jordan Peoples for more information.

Join Our Celebration

Mark your calendars now! One World, One Dream: 2014 Refugee Benefit is a dinner celebrating Nashville's new Americans and honoring those individuals, groups and organizations that have gone above and beyond to support the refugee and immigrant community in Middle Tennessee.

Event Information:
November 13th, 2014
Quattro Evento Reception
403 Allied Dr, Nashville, TN

To purchase tickets or for more information, please click here.


Youth Program Expands

As the 2014-15 school year gets under way, NICE's Youth Program services and staff have expanded to accommodate a growing need for programming within the school-aged refugee population. For the upcoming school year, NICE will be expanding its Youth Program from Glencliff High School, where it has been since its beginning three years ago, to Antioch High School as well as McMurray Middle School. In addition to the new sites, two staff members have been added as well.

The new Youth Education Coordinator is Mary Nelle Hall. She was born and raised in the Nashville area. She graduated from Samford University in Birmingham, AL with a Bachelors of Arts in Languages and World Trade. After graduation, Mary Nelle joined the International Rescue Committee in Silver Spring, Maryland as an Employment Specialist working to find jobs for refugees and asylees with professional degrees. Later, she was hired as the IRC's Cultural Orientation Coordinator where she planned and taught CO classes for refugees within their first 90 days in the US. In that role, she started the organization's first youth program, which provided tutoring and mentorship to middle school and high school refugee students. At NICE, Mary Nelle will be coordinating the after school programs.

Emily Dunn is the new Youth Education Specialist. She was born in Illinois, but has lived in Nashville since she was 4. She interned at NICE during her senior year of college as a Youth Impact Intern in NICE's after-school program at Glencliff. She graduated from Lipscomb University in May of 2014 with a Bachelors of Science in Family Relations. In July of 2014, she was hired to oversee NICE's after school program at McMurray Middle School. Emily also has traveled to Ghana, West Africa to the Village of Hope Orphanage to tutor children in literacy and art.

The growth in both staff and services is exciting for refugee and immigrant students and we look forward to the incredible difference these programs will have!

Copyright © 2014 Nashville International Center for Empowerment, All rights reserved.

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