REFUGEE SERVICES: School Success for Refugee Students

Burmese Student Masters Math

Paw Gaw is a Karen Burmese student who arrived in the United States just four short years ago at the age of 13 after living for 11 years in a Thai refugee camp with her family. In the camp, Paw Gaw attended school for six years, completing the U.S. equivalent of about 4th grade. It's a huge adjustment for refugee students to find them shelves in American schools and Paw Gaw was no exception.

After arriving in Georgia, Paw Gaw spent a year in intensive study of English at the DeKalb School System's International Student Center and then a year at Clarkston High School (CHS). Overwhelmed by the adjustment to school in America and still struggling to learn English, Paw Gaw had the opportunity to attend the Global Village School (GVS) for Refugee Girls for the 2010-2011 school year for continued studies in  English and instruction geared towards helping her catch up in school to her American peers.

Paw Gaw, back at Clarkston High School this year with continuing support by her GVS Mentor and attending LSG's ASAP After School Academic/Arts Program, is taking on the rigors of high school with great success. In her first semester back at CHS, Paw Gaw was one of 2 students in her math class to pass the Math I "End of Course Test"! But Paw Gaw has much more success ahead of her! She is a hard-working and self-motivated student who continues to improve her English skills and plans to graduate from high school and attend college to become a nurse.

Sibling Success 

Welcome Divine and Innocent! Powerful names for two outstanding students from Africa who have been in Lutheran Services's ASAP After School Academic/Arts Program at Indian Creek Elementary School in Clarkston since January 10, 2012. Neither sibling knew any English upon arrival to the states. Divine Uwineza and Innocent Mfitumukiza are now writing and spelling their names and recognize many of the alphabet letters and sounds.

Divine and Innocent have perfect attendance, exemplary citizenship, and a strong desire to learn.  They are truly a joy to teach and tutor! They look forward to working in the Computer Lab.  Websites such as enables them to hear the sounds of the alphabet and listen to a variety of alliteration, which increases phonemic awareness.  We are proud of how much progress these students have shown in such a short amount of time. Kudos to Divine and Innocent!