i had the opportunity to do my undergraduate internship at the institute and I loved my experience there. All the employees truly loved and respected their clients and served them well. The resettlement process flowed really well. I absolutely loved working with people from all over the world. It is my passion to love and sever those worldwide. I was trained well while working there. Great experience!
I interned at the International Institute and was humbled by the hard work and resourcefulness of the staff. I organized a weekly immunization clinic and monthly children's immunization clinic. The staff works incredibly hard to help clients on every aspect of life so they can not only live in St. Louis, but thrive here as well. In addition, they're skilled communications team ensures that people in the community hear success stories and know what they can do to help.
My wife worked with the II as a volunteer through STLCC at Forest Park. She helped clients with utility assistance and also did things like taking families on bus rides from the Institute to their homes in order to teach them how to use public transportation. As a member of the general public, I am familiar with St. Louis as a destination for refugees, and I applaud the work of II in helping new arrivals assimilate effectively into the community. Every morning I pass the institute on the way to work, and I see a great number of people entering and leaving the building, and I am sure they appreciate the assistance they receive there, which makes me proud that we have such a facility in our city.
I interned here during the first quarter of 2012 and I enjoyed everything about this nonprofit that i continued to volunteer. The Institute serves an important and often overlooked role in the city and does an amazing job at it. I'll continue to volunteer for as long as I can and hopefully the Institute will continue to work hard at helping immigrants and refugees survive and thrive in St. Louis.
Review from Guidestar
I started volunteering with the International Institute in January 2012. Once a week, I help tutor immigrants who are preparing to take the citizenship test. The students' stories of how they came to be in America never fail to inspire me, and their enthusiasm for becoming American citizens reminds me what a privilege it is to live here. My regular job is teaching high school, and there have been many nights when I get home exhausted and think about maybe not volunteering that night. I always go, and I'm always rewarded many times over by the students who are so eager to learn and appreciative for help. Likewise, the compassion and dedication of the teachers and other volunteers at the Institute renew my faith in people. The International Institute provides invaluable services for immigrants and refugees who find themselves alone and afraid in a new country.
IISTL is a gem of the St. Louis community. Continued support for the institute is absolutely imperative for the well-being of the community. Our region desperately needs a refugee/immigrant influx; this infusion of immigrants is vital for economic development and prosperity. IISTL is one of the few entities in the area that provides refugee resettlement and training programs. We're trying to embrace, for the entire St. Louis MSA, the influx of immigrants our region so desperately requires. Our Festival of Nations, an annual celebration of culture, draws in excess of 140,000 attendees. This program is vital to Goal II of our Strategic Plan: to be a leader in building a stronger, positive two-way relationship between immigrants and the wider community.
I've enjoyed years of teaching at the university and high school levels, but volunteering as a literacy tutor at the International Institute has been one of the most rewarding teaching experiences of my life.
The International Institute is an amazing organization, and I am proud to be able to say that I help. It is an invaluable asset for the refugees it serves, and it plays a significant role in the development of vibrant international community in the south side. Even though I have just started volunteering at the Institute as a teacher's aide, I already feel as though I am a valuable member of the organization. The classroom teacher goes out of his way to make sure that I am an integral part of the daily plan. Whether I am working in the classroom helping students learn about our Constitution, our government, or our geography or giving students practice citizenship interviews or tutoring students one-on-one, the classroom teacher always makes sure that I am keeping busy. I will always remember what it was like seeing a student return to school after passing the citizenship interview. I had given this student a practice interview the week before the actual one. I had worked with him on a one-on-one basis, reviewing all of the questions he struggled with, and when he passed I felt proud--proud to be a part of his success. The workers at the Institute want me to feel welcome. They want to make sure that I feel like my time is valued and not wasted. Most importantly, though, for three hours every week they provide me with the opportunity to help refugees work towards a new life, and that is all that I really want out of volunteering and what I think volunteering is all about.
Hundreds of Education students from Meramec Community College tutored at the International Institute for many years. They began this experience because they observed in traditional K12 Schools that ESL students were being marginalized by their teachers. This experience with the Institute gave them the opportunity to work with students from other countries before they got into their own classroom and gave them both sensitivity and awareness. Communications students at Meramec went on field trips with II clients as well to learn about communication among cultures. Our partnership with the Institute has given our students real world experience that they will never forget.
Review from Guidestar
Spent summer volunteering. Built my ELL teaching strategies. Helped me see the challenges facing refugees and immigrants when they enter the U.S. Made me more passionate about public education, especially in schools that serve refugee and immigrant families.
People here were wonderful.
Review from Guidestar