It's spring break, and this past week, a midst my chillin out, maxin, relaxin all cool and shootin some b-ball outside of the school (caught some Fresh Prince re-runs), I also got to make a visit to my upcoming summer internship (for which I am totally stoked).
The organization is called Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees (MVRCR), located in Utica, New York. It's up to me to decide for the most part what I want to do with my time there this summer, which is both a curse and a blessing because as an organization, they offer a lot; everything from setting up refugees in their new apartment upon arrival in Utica, to ESL classes and job finding assistance. This is really exciting, because it gives me an opportunity as an Anthro major to interact with and learn a lot from people all over the world, as well as learn about how refugees and organizations like MVRCR interact with the federal government, with the community in which they exist, and how resettlement as a whole affects refugees and their cultural retention.
I went to visit this past Tuesday to meet with the Intern and Volunteer Coordinator, where we talked for a while, she told me everything that the center offered, and we took a small tour of the building. I learned that they put on an international film festival in the fall, and at the Boilermaker run (a 15k in Utica) in the summer they have the "international mile", where different cultures represent themselves for a mile-long stretch along the course. Also, as an intern, I would have the opportunity to start a "club" at the center, where I would be able to do an 8-week class on a topic of my choice (i.e photography, painting, music, etc.). The idea behind this is to have things at the center for refugees to do for fun, because the initial adjustments of resettlement can be isolating and very challenging.
I'm really excited to start this summer, and I'll be sure to keep this blog updated about my experiences working here this summer!
Thanks for reading!