News from the Week of July 2nd

Veteran, first-generation American, and career guru, Eric Ahn's message to fellow veterans this Fourth of July: “We can still fight for those same people and I think veterans are the perfect people in American society to help bridge divides, bridge gaps, build people together to make this country a much more inclusive and engaging society.” Eric, the son of South Korean immigrants, enlisted in the Marine Corps after college and deployed to multiple countries, including Iraq and Afghanistan as an infantryman. Watch below.

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49 military personnel and family members took the Oath of Allegiance while aboard the USS Midway as part of Citizenship and Immigration Service's (USCIS) celebration of Independence Day. This was just one of about 175 events the agency held across the country to naturalize more than 14,000 people around the holiday. Melissa Maxim, field office director of USCIS in San Diego, reminded everyone in attendance that "immigrants in the U.S. have always had a profound impact on our nation and the world…they strengthen the fabric of our nation." Amongst those naturalized was Lance Cpl. Nadim Yousify. Originally from Afghanistan, Nadim came to America on a Special Immigrant Visa after working for the Drug Enforcement Agency as a translator for five years.

Peyton Klein, a student at Pittsburgh’s Allderdice High School, created the Global Minds Initiative after-school program. She started it so to partner English-speaking classmates with refugees and students from other countries to build relationships. Peyton was recently named one of the winners of the nationwide 2018 Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Award as her program has now expanded to 13 middle schools and high schools across the United States and Canada.

At age 12, Nadia Nadim fled Afghanistan with her mother and four sisters after her father was killed by the Taliban. They would eventually set up home in Denmark, where Nadia found a passion for soccer. This past week she visited Jordan to coach a training camp for refugee children, saying, "This is the reason I love football, as soon as these kids are on the field everything around them disappears, suddenly they are Ronaldo,'s about starting a spark, a hope."