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Dallas Jesuit College Prep takes action for refugees
September 20, 2011

Dallas Jesuit College Prep takes action for refugees
JRS/USA Action Teams commit to meeting regularly and coordinating activities and events that promote a brighter future for our refugee brothers and sisters. (photo courtesy of Jesuit College Preparatory in Dallas)
"Many of us are privileged during the summer with book clubs, select sports, summer vacations or just spending time with friends. Refugees are not as fortunate in receiving the same opportunities; they are adjusting to their new lives in a new country, learning a new language, and dealing with cultural shocks."
by Cara Pavlak
Jesuit Refugee Service/USA Outreach Coordinator

(Washington, D.C.) September 20, 2011 — Jesuit Refugee Service/USA Action Teams are groups of anywhere from three to 100 members that rally around their common concern for refugee and forcibly displaced persons, and their drive to effect positive social change in their local and global neighborhoods.

These teams support JRS/USA’s advocacy efforts by forming a grassroots movement to inform, educate, and empower local communities to take action and demand responsible actions from the U.S. government and others.

One active JRS/USA Action Team is the American/African Outreach Society (AAOS) at Jesuit College Preparatory in Dallas, Texas. This summer, cofounders Brocke Stepteau and Justin Rotich organized the AAOS to participate in two volunteer events to welcome refugees to the United States. Brocke and Justin reflected on their reasons for working with refugees this summer:

"Many of us are privileged during the summer with book clubs, select sports, summer vacations or just spending time with friends. Refugees are not as fortunate in receiving the same opportunities; they are adjusting to their new lives in a new country, learning a new language, and dealing with cultural shocks." 

While JRS/USA Action Teams vary in size, structure, and activities, they share the common goal to support JRS/USA's advocacy efforts and refugee and forcibly displaced issues at large. JRS/USA Action Teams commit to meeting regularly and coordinating activities and events that promote a brighter future for our refugee brothers and sisters.

AAOS first volunteered with Catholic Charities of Dallas to help welcome arriving refugees. AAOS students set up apartments and shopped for groceries for arriving refugee families. Cofounders Brocke and Justin write, “This was an amazing experience as we researched their home countries to make their homes more comfortable for them.”

In addition to volunteering with Catholic Charities of Dallas, AAOS students spent Saturday afternoons volunteering with Refugee Resources through the Shiloh Reading Circle, where the main goal is to bring books to refugee children at the Shiloh apartment complex. Working with refugee children ages four to 16, AAOS students built relationships with them through reading, building vocabulary, playing education games, and working on math and reading skills. AAOS students also bonded with the refugee children at Shiloh through games such as 'Simon Says' and freeze tag.

While summer may be over, the relationship between AAOS students and the refugee families at Shiloh certainly is not over. This fall, AAOS will continue volunteering through the Shiloh Reading Circle. 

To learn more about JRS/USA Action Teams please contact Cara Pavlak for more information! 


Press Contact Information
Mr Christian Fuchs
communications@jrsusa.org
202-462-0400 ext. 5946