Hanna Suh - Volunteer
I have always been interested in helping refugees. At school, I am part of a club called Model UN where we debate about global issues such as the Syrian refugee crisis. Once I began to study the crisis, I realized all the research I had done was from an outside perspective. Since then, I have wanted to meet with refugees and learn their stories from them, not from numbers I found online.
When I began SEED, I learned that every student came looking for something different. I am always grateful that as a tutor at SEED, I have the chance to be there for the refugee students for whatever reason they need me. I have also learned from the students themselves while listening to their stories. I remember one student who told me that she escaped Iran because her family feared that their house would be bombed. The fact that she and her family came to America and persevered through so many obstacles humbled me. In addition to teaching the students math and English, I hope to learn more from them as I continue on as a SEED tutor.
Diana Liu - Volunteer
Living as an immigrant in several countries, I’ve had the opportunity to both learn and teach a variety of languages. When I first heard about SEED, I was surprised and gratified that such an organization existed in the Bay Area, and immediately wanted to contribute in any way possible. As I started volunteering weekly as a tutor, working with the students and getting to know the staff, I realized that there was something truly special about SEED – certain qualities that set it apart from any organization or school I’ve ever worked with. Despite cultural differences and language barriers, I was struck by the love and warmth that flowed through the interactions between students and staff and the joyful atmosphere that pervaded the classes. The students were genuinely excited to be present, and their teachers knew when to focus on the work at hand and when to relax and enjoy getting to know their students. The SEED staff are hardworking, passionate, and gifted, and have truly created an environment of love and support for the families they welcome. I was immeasurably blessed and inspired by my time with SEED, and can vouch wholeheartedly for how SEED is empowering and bringing joy to refugee and new immigrant families in the Bay Area.
Juan Beas - Volunteer
As a freshman with the desire to try something new, I found that opportunity through teaching others something completely different from their own customs and first language. I had my own difficulties coming back to the United States after so many years of being absent from its culture and environment, and it was very hard for me to communicate with others about my aspirations in life because of the cultural and language barriers that I had. What I enjoy the most from participating and teaching students in the academy is the fact that I am able to help kids that are going through the same exact circumstances I found myself just a couple of years ago. Now that I have improved as a consequence of my work and dedication to learning in English I want to keep helping kids who are willing to join SEED.