As an immigrant, I know how it is to feel overwhelmed in a new place with no guidance. I have watched my parents come back home frustrated because they did not understand the system, and it was no fun at all. I eventually got used to going to school, relearning how to write, and learning various subjects that I had never even heard of, and, still to this day, I am often confused. During my junior year in high school, I started to get engaged in the community, and I felt happy that I was able to do things that made people’s lives easier. During my senior year, I found an immigrant community and was very happy to be a part of it. They made my life better and helped me understand the college process since I would be the first person to attend a university in the U.S. in my family. I realized that I wanted to give back to that same community, so my interest in service grew, specifically in immigrant communities. I was not confident in my ability to tutor students, so I decided to volunteer each time they needed me to talk about the organization at social justice panels. I started working towards more service, and I applied to the Bonner program at Rhodes College, a program for students that want to be active in the community.
I got accepted, and this was where I first heard of World Relief Memphis. I got a remote internship and began to work immediately. Due to the current pandemic, I am not able do in-person service, but I feel very helpful and happy with my duties. I am responsible for doing research and contacting local organizations that might help us at World Relief Memphis serve our clients better. The research that I do helps with community orientation for our clients and helps establish partnerships with other communities and organization willing to work together with WRM to build a stronger community and home for all.
As a Christian, my faith encourages me to help and serve others the way that God wants us to, and recently, I have started using this faith to guide me as I continue my service and education. This internship has opened my eyes to a new dimension of the church that I do not often consider: service and giving. We are called to give and serve just as Jesus did while He was on earth, and I plan on doing just that in whatever way I can, and to the best of my ability. I am currently a biology major at Rhodes College on the Pre-Med track, hoping to use my education to combat the health disparity issues that immigrants and refugees face in the United States.
While that is currently a long-term goal, I look forward to being physically engaged at World Relief Memphis, and I hope to be a part of new beginnings in the lives of my fellow immigrants.
If you want to get involved in the local immigrant community and help make a difference as well, we are currently looking for interns to join us this summer! Just click here and fill out an application, and we’ll be in touch with you to discuss the next steps.
Peace Abhieyghan is our Spring 2021 intern within the Mobilization department with a passion for giving back to the immigrant community.