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Team Spotlight: Alyssa

Alyssa is an eighth-grader from Maryland who loves to play soccer and spend time outside with her friends. Alyssa is also a big Wisconsin Badgers fan and loves watching the team play. Growing up Alyssa always wanted to be a lawyer, or practice law in some way. Currently, her favorite subject in school is science.

FORA is the first organization that Alyssa has consistently volunteered for. So far Alyssa has loved her experience and how much she has learned from it! Alyssa found out about FORA through her father, who knew FORA's Co-Founder Michael O'Connor, and what convinced Alyssa she wanted to be a part of FORA was hearing from her family, especially her father, about the amazing work that FORA was doing.

As part of volunteering for FORA, Alyssa has learned a lot about refugee education. In her school, Alyssa never learned about the experiences of refugee families, and so she felt oblivious to many major world events. Alyssa believes that the first step in making positive changes in the area of refugee education is to first become more educated on the experiences of refugees. Because many Americans are unaware of the plight of Rohingya refugees, they are unable to make changes and help. Alyssa is very grateful that FORA has provided her with an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the importance of supporting refugees through education.

When looking back to when she first started tutoring her student, Alyssa notes that she often felt like they were not making progress. However, now when she takes a broad look at the books that her student started reading and the books that she is reading now, it makes Alyssa very proud. Alyssa said of her student, “She is such an amazing kid, so looking back and seeing her improvement is definitely a highlight experience I am privileged to have at FORA.”

Alyssa would like to thank the FORA staff; she has worked with a lot of teachers throughout her schooling life and says she has never worked with a staff so understanding and helpful. “Everyone is so kind and caring,” Alyssa said of the FORA staff.

Outside of FORA Alyssa loves hanging out with her friends — what really brings her the most joy in life is human connections. Playing soccer also brings her a lot of joy, as well as going for runs while listening to music.

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