|Source: PAIR Houston (PAIR: Partnership for the Advancement & Immersion of Refugees)|
|“Adam” and his mother have generously agreed to share their story so you can learn more about PAIR’s participants and programs. PAIR obtains informed adult consent before sharing stories, and always uses pseudonyms for minor students to protect their privacy and safety.|
|Every PAIR student has a different experience that has led to a new beginning here in the United States. Meet one of our middle school students. This is Adam’s story.
Adam was born in Baghdad and raised to the south near the ancient city of Babylon, where his family fled to escape the violence of the ISIS terrorist group. Adam moved to the United States with his mother last year after the loss of his father in the devastating chaos.
Adam and his mother arrived in Miami in November of 2014. They moved to Houston this summer to join Adam’s uncle, who was resettled here as a refugee. Adam is now attending Paul Revere Middle School.
Adam likes being an only child, but admits to wishing he had brothers to help him with his homework. We are so happy to have him in our Global Learners program at Revere, and Adam is enjoying his time with PAIR. In his words,
“PAIR is giving us a chance to learn about other people in our school and make new friends.”
Adam is pleased with his new home here in Houston. He likes the variety of Arab food in the city, and he has welcomed two pet fish, two birds, and one crab into his home. He is eager to build his English skills, as he is very fond of his English teacher and enjoys the opportunity to practice English with new PAIR friends.
In response to the increasing number of refugees from Arabic-speaking countries now in Houston schools, PAIR recently hosted a training for Houston Independent School District staff and community partners with the Arab-American Cultural Community Center. Experts from the center discussed the psychology of refugees, strategies for teaching refugees, Arab cultural norms and values, and challenges faced by refugee families. With their new understanding, teachers and counselors will be better able to support and meet the needs of newly arrived refugees.
You are a critical partner in making possible programs that support young newcomers to Houston and those who work with them in our public schools. Thank you for helping ensure that all refugee children succeed in school and live normal lives as they recover from the violence that pushed them away from their homes.