In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Meridian hosted our fifth annual Day of Service on Monday, January 16, 2017. Organized by staff in partnership with the Ethiopian Community Development Council (ECDC) and Upwardly Global, this year’s event aimed to empower and prepare refugees and immigrants for their new life in the U.S. focusing on their search for employment. Over 50 professional volunteers came together to help refugees from as far away as Syria, Afghanistan and Ethiopia. The event offered a simulated job interview experience, complete with constructive criticism and helpful feedback to better prepare them for when they meet with potential employers.
Speakers were able to offer practical advice, personal stories, and role playing to encourage participants to not give up.
Next, each participant was paired with two volunteers for the mock job interviews with translation when needed. Refugees were matched with volunteers based on interests and past career experiences. The session provided a unique insight into what challenges these groups are facing, and the participants were able to hear candid tips on what they might face in future interviews.
The experience can be summed up in the words of our partners at ECDC -
“Just seeing the clients’ progress and boost in confidence by the end of the event was so apparent. We loved seeing how they blossomed throughout the whole process and having a chance to be proud of themselves. Thank you for helping them to see what they’re capable of and for allowing them to have the chance to work with many people who understand their challenges and care about their success.”