Our efforts to help Afghan refugees in Metro Atlanta have gotten some welcome help from two graduate students at Emory University. Alyssa Milton and Madeline Steiner are serving as interns, getting academic credit for themselves while doing important work with AAAGa. Here, they explain how the internship came together and what they are doing to support volunteers and help Afghan families. They both contributed to these answers:
How did you hear about AAAGa?
We both heard about the Afghan Alliance of Georgia through our professor, Dr. Hilary King, at Emory University. We are in the Master’s of Development Practice program through Laney
What made you interested in interning with AAAGa?
Alyssa: The Taliban takeover in Afghanistan sparked a new interest for me in refugee resettlement. Working with AAAGa allows me to facilitate support networks for Afghan refugees in Atlanta and provide them with the resources they need to thrive.
Madeline: I interned with the International Rescue Committee (IRC) last year and did short term work in the initial resettlement efforts of Afghan Refugees last fall. Working with the AAAGa gives me the opportunity to continue this work with Afghan community members who are new to Atlanta to assist in welcoming them and ensuring that they are receiving support in their new communities.
How long will the internship last? Who oversees your work and do you get paid?
Our internships will last for the entirety of our Spring semester (January-May 2022) and our
internships are unpaid. While Khurram Hassan oversees our internships directly, we each have different roles. Alyssa works with the Volunteer Team, coordinating with new
volunteers while Madeline works with the Storage and Distribution team.
How many hours a week do you put into the internship?
We each generally work 6-8 hours/week each.
So far, what have you gotten out of the experience? What are you learning?
Alyssa: Through this experience, I have learned the innerworkings of a grassroots organization in its early stages. It is exciting and incredible how fast it grows, and every day is a new adventure! I am learning valuable communication skills and meeting passionate people who are dedicated to helping Afghan refugees adjust to their new home in Atlanta. I am learning how to recruit and market our organization to the larger Atlanta community to grow AAAGa in the future.
Madeline: I have enjoyed being a part of a grassroots non-profit organization and watching it grow. There are many dedicated and passionate individuals involved in this effort who are inspiring to work with and learn from; everyone working with the AAAGa are volunteers, so it really is a wonderful community! I am gaining skills in volunteer management and donation logistics which will be incredibly useful as I move forward in my career. It has also been wonderful to meet many incredible Afghan families and to learn more about Afghan culture.
Madeline Steiner (left) and Alyssa Milton (right), our fantastic interns from Emory University!