Blogs

"Why did the colonists fight the British?" in red ink above a painting of a battle scene from the Revolutionary War.

Citizenship boom

Have you ever wondered what an online Citizenship class looks like? It’s part history lesson, conversation practice and quiz show, where students are asked: “Who signed the Emancipation Proclamation?” “Who started the first free libraries?” “What was the Civil War fought over?”* Last year, ReWA’s citizenship classes moved online. In late 2020, thanks to a USCIS grant ReWA doubled their…

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Access to learning soars as ESL goes online

Last March, ReWA’s ESL Team was struggling: few of the immigrants and refugees who attended ESL classes had internet or computer access at home. Now, a year later, ReWA is offering five classes online serving over 70 students. How did we do it? Let’s go back to March 13, 2020, the day Seattle Schools closed… My name is Inga Muscio,…

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ReWA case manager helps a woman in headscarf fill out application forms

Day 1 keeps families housed

A trained chemist stocking shelves at Costco. An experienced accountant mopping floors. These women are only two of the many immigrants and refugees with professional backgrounds who come to the U.S. but get stuck in low-wage jobs. Without a chance to take courses to re-certify in their previous career fields, they struggle to make ends meet, and are one unexpected-bill…

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Counseling for COVID-19 anxiety

“Mariam”* came to the US a few years ago, fleeing war in East Africa. She learned English, got her driving license, and found a clerical job. But persistent traumatic memories impacted her daily life. She lost several members of her family in the conflict, including her parents who were killed when a bomb fell on their home one morning just…

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Dr. Azmi Jaafar in Baghdad in front of statue of stone figure with four arms putting a column in place

Coming out of covid

In the past year, ReWA has helped over 200 immigrants and refugees in the Puget Sound access mental health counseling. Most suffer from depression, PTSD, or just have trouble adjusting to a new country.  All of these are exacerbated by the pandemic. Azmi Jafaar is the clinical supervisor of ReWA’s Behavioral Health program. He was trained in Iraq as a…

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photograph of family breaking the fast with dinner

Ramadan: Research, Write, Present

Eid Al-Fitr is the Islamic holiday celebrating the end of the Holy Month of Ramadan. This is the day when Muslims offer special prayers, greet each other with “Eid Mubarak” (Blessed Eid”) and after a month of fasting from sunrise to sunset, break the fast with a sumptuous meal and community gathering. ReWA Youth Instructor, Seth Walker said, “Not everyone…

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Volunteer Appreciation

“Vacuuming children”–is that a mistake in English vocabulary or a practical solution to messy kids? Angela is a stay-at home mom of three, metal artist (pictured left in the workshop) and has been volunteering as a teacher’s aide at ReWA for eight years. When asked for an anecdote from the classroom, she recalled this line. “We were discussing New Year’s…

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Liban’s Way: Road to Success

When ReWA moved into SeaTac CityHall back in 2019, Liban (pronounced “LEE-ban”) stopped by the Open House to say hello. He said, “I used to be in the youth program, and now I work full time for the city.” An Information Systems Technician, Liban, helps keep the city’s IT infrastructure operating and provides friendly customer service to City workers.  When…

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