Butterfly: From Refugee to Olympian-My Story of Rescue, Hope and Triumph, by Yusra Mardini is the perfect book for high schoolers or adults looking for an uplifting story of how hard work and grit pay off. Yusra Mardini grew up in Syria in the midst of war. She grew up in a family of swimmers and all she wanted was to go to the Olympics. She’s on her way until war ruins her ability to train. She desperately wants to train for the Olympics. She and her older sister embark on a dangerous journey to try to gain asylum in Germany. This is the story of their journey and how they adapt to life once they are in Germany. The portrayal of their experiences was realistic and timely. Yusra's courage and hope will inspire readers, along with her dedication to her sport and her desire to compete in the Olympics.
Just as citizens in Europe and the U.K. have heroically supported displaced Ukrainians by opening up their homes or securing other housing, assisting with school enrollments, employment needs, and language learning, Americans now have the opportunity via the Welcome.us Sponsor Circles program to directly help newly arrived Ukrainians. The United States has committed to welcoming 100,000 Ukrainians temporarily for a period of two-years and the ability to apply for employment authorization in the U.S. as long as they have a U.S.-based sponsor to petition for them.
When I was in high school, I was fascinated by geography, and it struck me that there was a highway that I could hop on in my car and drive all the way down into South America. As an imaginative young girl growing up on the Texas-Mexico border, the idea of a road that could take me from my sleepy border town, Laredo, Texas, to the edge of the world in South America, left me awe struck. In high school I learned that this highway is called the Pan-American Highway.
Egette was born and raised in a refugee camp in Tanzania, Africa. In 2021, she graduated with a B.S. in psychology from George Mason University. In 2022, she received her MA in psychology with a focus in Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience, also from George Mason. She was recently featured in Forbes on World Mental Health Day. She founded Safe Haven Space, to empower and educate refugee families in the US about mental health and wellbeing.