National Refugee Week: Graduates receive high school diplomas

LANSING, MI (WLNS) – It’s National Refugee Week and in honor of that, the Capital Area is celebrating.

For more than 30 years, Lansing St. Vincent Catholic Charities has been welcoming refugees from all across the globe.

It welcomes an average of about 600 per year, brings in about 50 refugees per month, and on Monday, it graduated 5 students.

Many people gathered inside the First Presbyterian Church in Lansing for the ceremony, and it’s all made possible by the Global Institute of Lansing.

The Global institute of Lansing is an independent charitable non-profit who actually pays for the students high school program by tax deductible contributions and grants.

Made up of staff who are strictly volunteers, it helps students better their education by allowing them to complete their high school diploma.

Since December of 2010, it’s welcomed 130 refugees into the educational program. To date, 60 of those refugees have graduated.

Ranging in ages from 18, all the way up to 61, refugees and immigrants from more than 20 different countries have enrolled in the program.

6 News spoke to Sadick Amir who was among those who graduated Monday. He offered some word of advice for anyone who may be in his shoes one day.

“Just tell them to believe in themselves,” Amir said. “Not speaking English should not be the barrier for not achieving success. They have to strive hard, and that education is a way to move forward.”

Since the mid-1970’s, Lansing has welcomed and helped resettle more than 20,000 refugees.

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