The newest New Hampshire AmeriCorps program is the RISE Program, the Refugee and Immigrant Social Empowerment Program, hosted by IINE, the International Institute of New England.  The International Institute of New England’s mission is to create opportunities for refugees and immigrants to succeed through resettlement, education, career advancement, and pathways to citizenship. We offer humanitarian relief, English language learning, employment, skills training, and immigration legal services to more than 10,000 people from 70+ different countries.

Paul Vyizigiro (he/him) is Burundian, born in a city called Kinama in the state of Muyinga. He now lives in Manchester, New Hampshire.

We interviewed Ellen Sears, AmeriCorps Member Manager, to learn more about what they do.

When did the RISE Program start, and what are its main goals?

The Refugee and Immigrant Social Empowerment AmeriCorps program was created in 2023. Our main goals are increasing digital literacy and transportation access for refugees and immigrants living in New Hampshire, resulting in advancement toward career goals, including employment and job retention.

What are the community needs the program will be addressing?

The needs our program is addressing is a lack of access to digital literacy and transportation skills. Across the International Institute, newly arrived individuals benefit from knowledge pertaining to technology, such as online classroom, resume-building, and communication skills. Increased transportation knowledge, such as public transit routes, ride-share app navigation, and driver’s license preparation will lead to additional job readiness and self-sustainment.

Where do you see the program in five years from now?

In five years, I would like to see a robust RISE program that:

1. Operates effectively per its outcomes and

2. Has members serving who feel accommodated, acknowledged for their service, and receive skills and training for bettering their community even once their service is complete.

Requirements for prospective members:

Required Skills/Abilities

  • Passion for the mission of IINE and a commitment to providing exceptional service to our clients.
  • Attuned to working across languages and cultures, able to demonstrate cultural competency.
  • Ability to connect with community partners.
  • Excellent problem-solving, operational, and communication skills.
  • Proactive attitude and ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment.

Education & Experience

  • High school diploma or GED equivalent required.
  • Must be at least 18 years old.
  • Experience in a multi-cultural/multi-lingual workplace an advantage.

Interested in learning more or enrolling as a member?  The RISE Program has service openings beginning in March! Interested individuals can visit https://iine.org/careers/ to apply for their positions or contact Ellen Sears, Member Manager, at esears@iine.org.