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Students get involved in Refugee Education Center

Hannah Stuursma '18, Focus Editor

As the coins are being counted after the Coin Wars, East Grand Rapids High School’s own Lily Shreiner ‘20, Drew Theut ‘20, and Joey Mooney ‘20 are back to work at the Refugee Education Center. All three students have or will volunteer at the center in the near future.

“I started to get involved with the refugee center in the summer before sophomore year,” Lily Shreiner ‘20 said.

After 12 years of the center being open, the refugee education center continues to grow, serving approximately 300 kids per year from all over West Michigan. West Michigan is a large hub for refugee relocation, which motivated Shreiner ‘20 to get involved.

“Considering the political atmosphere and the attitude towards refugees in our country, I was especially motivated to get involved,” Shreiner ‘20 said.

Theut ‘20 also got involved with the refugee center through the work his mother has done for the center.

“I originally started volunteering for the refugee center in the spring of 8th grade,” Drew Theut ‘20 said.

Volunteers at the center arrive around 3:30 and play with the kids outside. Kids then have a task to do on their own, depending on their age. After the task, students have tutors and volunteers help with homework. Volunteers also assist kids with computer games and other learning games. The day ends with another 15 minutes of playtime outside. The center is very dependent on their highly trained volunteers and visitors who come in to speak to the kids about their careers. The refugee center is always looking for volunteers to help with the many children that utilize the center each year.  Interested volunteers can get involved by submitting an application on the Refugee Education Center’s website.

 

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