Since 2017, we have valued investing into the lives of refugees kids and their education. “Homework Club” was where it all began and for four years we saw many students and volunteers come to a local apartment to get help with their homework each week. This year we transitioned Homework club and launched Migros Academy. Angie Wiggins joined the Migros Aid team to give leadership and organization to Migros Academy in developing ways to help in the ongoing education of students we serve. Wiggins comes with over 25 years of teaching experience and has a real passion for education.
Fifteen students completed session 1 from August to December this year and were recognized for their commitment. They all were given a certificate and a gift bag (Thanks to our partner: Eagle Church) this past Tuesday evening. Students are picked up each week and get one on tutoring from Migros volunteers. Session 2 begins in January 2023 and if you are interested in helping, please contact us. All the participants in Migros Academy are refugees and their parents speak little to no English and often cannot help them with their homework. .
Angie Wiggins, director of Migros Academy reflects on the evening,
“My heart was full as we drove the kids home after the Migros Academy Christmas party. The night was a resounding success with all the typical party fare that always thrills kids – games, gifts, snacks. The chatter in the van was a near deafening volume as kids talked excitedly about the party and belted out Christmas carols (mostly with incorrect lyrics, such as “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Rainbow.” Some of the memorable quotes revolved around the gifts they received:
“I’ve always dreamed of owning slime, and now I do!”
“I’m saving the candy to give to my Mom, so she can have a snack at work.”
“My new doll’s name is Sarah.”
Amidst all the conversation, the comment that stood out to me was from a rambunctious 12-year old boy, who boldly exclaimed, “I love Migros Academy!” This particular middle schooler is at the age where appearing cool is of utmost importance, and while expressing enthusiasm about tutoring is decidedly uncool, he couldn’t contain his enthusiasm. This comment was powerful because it was unexpected! This young man struggles to focus on schoolwork despite being bright and curious. He would usually rather rough house with other boys or think up mischief. The first several weeks he came, it felt like his entire mission on Tuesday evenings was to derail and disrupt. I wondered if we’d be able to let him keep coming.Read more: Migros Academy Concludes Session 1 with Party and Awards Ceremony
Week after week, we saw his attitude evolve. He became more respectful to me, always asking me about my day when he got in the van. He more often engaged in books and strategy games with his tutors. Before long, I began to look forward to seeing him each week, and now I can’t imagine Migros Academy without him.
While he still isn’t a straight-A student and he still has plenty of mischief in him, I am convinced that our little community on Tuesday evenings has become a safe place for him. A place where he knows people are for him and expect great things from him. A place where whatever antics he may get into, we will welcome him back the next week.
Migros Academy, since its inception in June 2022, has made a difference in his life and the lives of other students. We have met for 6 months and this week, 15 students received certificates for completing Session 1. When we begin Session 2 in January, we will launch with more students! Would you consider being a supportive adult in a refugee student’s life? Your weekly one-hour commitment can make a monumental difference for a student and it may even become a highlight of your week.”