"NSC is a mid-sized nonprofit that was founded in 1921 to serve recent immigrants to the United States.  Our mission is to prepare and empower immigrants and refugees in the Philadelphia region to transcend challenging circumstances by providing comprehensive client-centered services to build a foundation for a self-sustaining and dignified future.  In short, we work to protect and expand the legal rights of immigrants, increase language access within the Philadelphia community, and work with recently arrived immigrants and refugees to walk with them in their adjustment to their new lives in the United States.  The Refugee and Community Integration Department, in which our Civic House students work, works with recently arrived refugees to help them find their first jobs in the United States, enroll their children in school, teach them about American culture and how to achieve their goals in this new system, and adjust to life in their new neighborhood.  This means everything from picking them up from the airport and finding their first apartments to helping them budget their first paycheck and beyond. 

The current political climate has been challenging to say the least.  The reduction of refugee arrivals from 100,000 to 50,000 this fiscal year means that 60,000 people will not be able to escape life in the camps.  NSC had to reduce the number of people we could accept by half.  We recently had to lay off two staff members and have not been able to fill vacant positions since our current president was elected, which means that we rely on interns more than ever to serve our clients. The Continuum of Care team, which currently accepts Civic House students, went from a team of four staff members to a team of two.  We need the support of our community now more than ever. We would not be able to support our clients in the way that we do if we did not have Civic House students to supplement the work of staff.

There are many ways you can help.  We are currently accepting intern applications for the summer and are looking for volunteer ESL teachers to replace our previous teacher who recently retired.  Please vote.  Please call your representatives and tell them how you feel about accepting immigrants in  your home state.  When you all graduate and begin working, hire the person with the accent.  Please rent your apartment to a refugee.   Recognize that immigrants drive economic growth and have greatly contributed to job creation in the Philadelphia area.  My final shameless plug is that we cannot fight for our clients without financial resources; you can read more about our organization and donate money at nscphila.org.  Like us on facebook to keep up to date about fund raisers and advocacy opportunities."

- Ellen Ramage, Continuum of Care Case Manager for Nationalities Service Center