16 Staff, over 130 years of Service: What they enjoy the most

On January 23rd 16 staff from the Refugee and Immigration Center Staff were honored at an annual LSS dinner celebrating staff and volunteers.  We tracked them down and asked them “What do you enjoy most about your work at the Refugee and Immigration Center?”

Wade Gemar, Employment Lead and Employment Specialist. Recognized for 5 years of service. ” What I love most about working at the RIC is the relationships established with the clients and their families. I love learning about our clients’ cultures, languages, religions, cuisines, etc, and working here gives me a front seat to experience everything that the world has to offer in its many beautiful populations. Another thing I love most about my job is seeing the progress of clients from the time they arrive to the U.S. until the time they become citizens 5 years later.”

Thag

Thag Poudyal, Medical Caseworker. Recognized for 5 years of service. “I enjoy helping the new Americans when they come to this new world. I get more thrilled and excited when they become self sufficient and support their family.”

Iman

Iman Maygoub, Nursery Teacher. Recognized for 5 years of service. “I like the kids the most because we learn to respect each other and respect cultures.”

Ruth

Ruth Obaka (right) ESL Teacher. Recognized for 5 years of service. “What I love most is the students…when they “get it”–that smile on their faces. That makes my year!”

Samira

Samira Carey, Interpreter. Recognized for 5 years of service.

Missy Bellayneh, Interpreter.  Recognized for 5 years of service

Missy Bellayneh, Interpreter. Recognized for 5 years of service

Claudia

Claudia Galvez, Interpreter. Recognized for 5 years of service.

Amos

Amos Gayetaye, Interpreter. Recognized for 5 years of service.

Hilda

Hilda Sanchez-Herrera, Interpreter. Recognized for 5 years of service.

Adam

Adam Yahya, Interpreter. Recognized for 5 years of service.

Lisa

LIsa Kaufman (right) ESL Instructor. Recognized for 10 years of service. “I most enjoy seeing students’ confidence grow as they learn new skills to help them navigate life in the U.S. LSS provides a nurturing environment for new Americans, and it’s rewarding to be part of that. I learn many things from my students.”

Deb

Deb Worth, Associate Director. Recognized for 10 years of service. “I enjoy learning from and about our clients from around the world.”

Carol

Carol Hudson, ESL Instructor. Recognized for 15 years of service. “When I am able to see some kind of progress whether it be in the classroom, getting a job, increasing their knowledge of our culture, I am so happy. I have learned we are the same all over the world as we want our children to succeed and to grow up to be good people. They also teach me what is important; relationships and how we treat our brother!”

Deanna

Deanna Streeter, ESL Instructor. Recognized for 15 years of service. “My students’ dedication! It humbles me to think of people working 10 to 12 hour shifts…maybe they drive to and from Minnesota everyday…they have a family and lives…and they still come to English class to learn. Working with adults is very rewarding because it is harder for them to learn the language, but they make progress and this is very rewarding.”

Lovey

Lovey Bliss, Interpreter. Recognized for 5 years of service.

Janice Godtland, Immigration Attorney.  Recognized for 15 years of service. "I enjoy helping people...seeing their joy when things go well...like when families are reunited.  The work is never boring.  It is a challenge."

Thank you so much for your years of dedication and service in welcoming new Americans to Sioux Falls!

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