By Adrianna Nehme, Communications Assistant
“We have a responsibility to our global community and local society to welcome refugees. I would love to eventually orient my career around service to refugees, but for now I just try to support organizations doing the work and volunteering where I can.”
Along with volunteering for FORA, Stephen is involved with Chicago Scholars as a mentor and was previously a member of the 2019 Obama Foundation Community Leadership Corp. Stephen’s search for FORA began with an urge to be involved in his community after spending most of his time at home with free time to spare. After finding FORA through a Google search, he applied and committed when meeting with his student and observing the dedication that other members of the organization put forth towards the children.
When tutoring Stephen looks forward to the company of his student, since the tutee's perspective on the world never fails to bring him joy (this includes his tutee’s love for Coca-Cola). So far, the highlight of Stephen’s experience has been watching his student’s progress to eventually reading chapter books.
Stephen loves to learn and meet new people. In his free time, he enjoys playing Minecraft, watching a new PBS documentary, or “sneezing” as a result of encountering his two cats since he is allergic to them. For those who would like to volunteer in the future, he highlights the amount of work it will take, as well as how it is worth it to be connected to a young person’s learning. He says that being a positive influence for young people is always valuable, especially during a pandemic and when considering refugee status.