Paving the Path: Kids are back in school, and adults are learning, too! This month's update focuses on some of our educational services that help new American families on their pathways to success.

Tick, Tock — Time’s Running Out

Tables are filling and cocktails are chilling.
Get your last-minute tickets to Red, White and NEW on August 29 at The Ballroom at the Carlos Center. Thanks to all of our sponsors for already making the event a success!

You don’t want to miss this live and silent auction with amazing items like Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade tickets, trips near and far, foodie fare and other unique experiences! Meet several new American citizens in our community and this year’s Friend of Freedom honoree, Awet Woldegebriel, recently named one of the “30 Under 30” of rising young business professionals in Atlanta by the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

Making Back to School Possible

As our students return to school, many of them find they do not have all the supplies they need. You can help us fill 100 backpacks to distribute to refugee children! See the supply list linked here for how you can help fill a backpack for a refugee child!

Ready to donate or have questions? Contact Stephanie Ali:

Shop to Support our Work

Kroger Community Rewards is a great way to give back at no cost to you! Simply sign up online and add us to your card. Every time you shop, Kroger will donate a percentage of your spending to our organization!

Already signed up? Time to renew! All shoppers need to renew annually during the month of August. Take a moment to hop over and sign back up. You can find us under our name or by looking up organization #70453.
We thank the Mary Allen Lindsey Branan Foundation for their $10,000 grant for our Beyond Barriers program that supports new arrivals who face challenges to self-sufficiency after arrival.
Here are our top in-kind donation needs this month:
  • Bike Locks: We need nearly 200 bike locks to go with a large corporate donation of bicycles for clients!
  • Diapers: All sizes are needed as we welcome our fall arrivals.
  • School Supplies: Backpacks filled with school supplies and individual supplies for high school students, such as calculators. 
  • Toothpaste and Toothbrushes: Hygiene items are always high-need, but oral hygiene is our highest demand right now. 
Keep up with our most pressing needs on our Wish List and Pinterest Pages.

Fast Facts

This month, our focus is on education—for children and adults. Here are some fast facts about some of our primary educational services:
  • The New American Pathways English as a Second Language program works with adults on beginner-level and intermediate-level ESL. In the first year of the program, Coordinator Kelsey Smith estimates that students have collectively learned 600 unique English words to build their individual vocabularies. 
  • The New American Pathways Education and Youth Department works with approximately 150 students in three afterschool location sites across elementary and middle school in DeKalb County. These students represent over one-dozen countries of origins and languages.
  • The newly formed Vocational Counseling services will be completing their first year of service this October. In that time, they have provided 17 professional development workshops to clients, and have three more scheduled.
  • Project RISE AmeriCorps members, all focused on educational services for new Americans, provided 2,232 services to 774 adults between September 2014 and June 2015. Here are a few service statistic highlights:
    • 129 adults were served by our Cuban Education member.
    • 21 young women took part in the Young Women’s Leadership Program.
    • 54 individuals were registered for school by the School Liaison.
    • 129 individuals went on one of the 29 MARTA orientations provided.
Learn more about the AmeriCorps program and open positions for the 2015-2016 service cycle here.

Food for Thought - and Thoughtful Food

by Patti Garrett

Patti GhezziPatti Garrett is the Consulting Dietitian for the Champions for Healthy Kids grant awarded to New American Pathways by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation and the General Mills Foundation. 
Participating in the writing of a grant proposal and seeing it come to life are, no doubt, two very different realities. New American Pathways has for the second year in a row received a “Champions for Healthy Kids” educational grant provided by General Mills to support grassroots programs promoting healthy eating and active lifestyles with refugee youth and their families. The first year, I helped develop the program for middle school youth in New American Pathways’ “Pathways to Bright Futures” afterschool program. This year, we will take lessons learned and introduce the program to the elementary afterschool program. One thing is clear: We are ALL learning from this deliciously educational experience!

Read Patti's full article on our website.

General Mills' Champions for Healthy Kids grant supported a curriculum in healthy eating and activities for our middle school afterschool program. This year, we are expanding to reach our elementary school students. 
ESL Coordinator Kelsey Smith brings cultures together to help new Americans gain a better understanding of the English language.

Cultural Connections and English Lessons

by Kelsey Smith

Although my students cannot yet read the following words of Hermann Hesse, I believe they would agree with them: “As a body everyone is single, as a soul never.”

The outer trappings of these adult students are so different from one another. They come from so many different countries—Burma/Myanmar, Somalia, Syria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, and Sudan, to name a few—and speak such different languages and embody different cultures. Yet when they are together in the Cultural Orientation English as a Second Language (ESL) Classroom at New American Pathways, the differences that might appear to separate one body from the other do not at all prevent us from knowing and relating to one another.

Maybe one reason is because they are all at the same level—unable to read, write, speak, or understand in the new language of the new country in which they are all attempting to build a new life. And I think another reason is that, especially when each very different individual is brought to the same level, it’s easier to see the connection of how they are all so beautifully human.

Read Kelsey's full story about New American Pathways' ESL program on our web site.

2014-2015 AmeriCorps Project RISE Members
We thank all 2014-2015 AmeriCorps Project RISE members and outgoing Service and Volunteerism Manager Cathy Hogan-Davies (pictured bottom left) for their dedication to serving new Americans in Georgia! You are superstars!

The Power of Education and National Service

As a guide for new Americans on their path to self-sufficiency and long-term success, New American Pathways is constantly finding ways to empower the refugees we serve through education—and AmeriCorps Project RISE (Refugee and Immigrant Success through Education) is critical to our mission.

Project RISE is a collaborative effort between New American Pathways, Fugees Family and AmeriCorps, that focuses on educational services for the refugee community—youth, adults, parents and families. This year, our 21 AmeriCorps members helped refugees find success through education during their service from September 2014 - July 2015. During this time, members provided 2,232 services to 774 adults! We thank each member for their incredible service and impact.

New American Pathways Board Member Mike Iverson not only helps to guide our overall finances, but works one-to-one with new Americans through the new Mentors for Vocational Pathways (MVP) service. 

Volunteer of the Month:
Mike Iverson

When Mike Iverson laughs, you can’t help but laugh, too. He is a giving person with a joy for life that is contagious.

A longtime supporter of New American Pathways, Mike has been a member of the Board of Directors since 2011 (then RRISA). He is the current Treasurer and chair of the board’s Finance Committee. But this year, Mike found a way to be more directly involved with the new Americans served by the organization he helps govern. He decided to offer his expertise as a volunteer mentor through the Mentors for Vocational Pathways (MVP) volunteer service—a new volunteer opportunity since the merger of RRISA and Refugee Family Services last year.

A part of our Vocational Counseling services, MVPs are Metro Atlanta professionals who are matched one-to-one with highly skilled new Americans seeking to build their skills and improve their job prospects in fields such as graphic design, medicine and education.

As a financial professional of more than 20 years, Mike felt like this would be a unique way to use his business skills to give back to new Americans.  He was matched with Fidele, a client from Rwanda who had recently obtained a degree in finance and was ready to look for a job.

Learn more about Mike's volunteer work on our web site.



20   Dinner with Clarkston City Officials 

All are invited to come out to this incredible event, co-sponsored by New American Pathways and presented by Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Atlanta. Dinner will be held from 6-9 p.m. RSVP is required. For more info, visit our site.

20   Volunteer Orientation

To be held at the New American Pathways' office from 5:45 p.m. until 7 p.m. Please RSVP to Daniella Bass at

29   Red, White and NEW Gala

Tickets are on sale for our annual Red, White and New gala event. Get your tickets online now

2015   CDC Museum Refugee Exhibit Open

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) David J. Sencer Museum opened their new exhibit “Resettling in America: Georgia’s Refugee Communities” in July and it runs through December. Admission and parking are free; no reservations are required. Driver’s license or passport required for entry. Security inspects all vehicles entering the grounds.

2300 Henderson Mill Rd., NE  |  Suite 100/200  |  Atlanta, GA 30345  |  404.299.6099
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