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VSAC Receives $50,000 to Support Afghan Refugees
VSAC has been awarded $50,000 from the State Refugee Office of the Vermont Agency of Human Services to serve people from Afghanistan who immigrate to Vermont
The funding, which will run through VSAC’s Educational Opportunity Center (EOC), will enable VSAC to counsel Afghans on education and careers, as well as travel, materials, translation, and interpretation.
Hundreds of Afghans moved to Vermont in 2022 and 2023. “Vermont continues to welcome refugees from across the globe who have become valued members of our communities. Vermont has had a vibrant refugee resettlement community and infrastructure for decades. With this grant, we will be able to deepen our work with the Afghan community to help them define a path to their continuing education, training interests, or career aspirations,” noted Scott Giles, VSAC President.
Many of the Afghans who arrive in Vermont have a strong academic background and have worked closely with the United States military while in Afghanistan. Other Afghans had interrupted educational journeys because of ongoing violence, or because they identify as women. The grant will enable VSAC to further support Afghans in charting a course to leverage the opportunities in Vermont. These opportunities could be career counseling, learning to drive, passing prerequisites necessary for a medical career, and beyond.
“VSAC is well positioned to assist all Afghan arrivals with clarifying their academic and career goals within the American educational system, researching programs to meet those goals, and finding the financial aid funding necessary. The Agency is investing in workforce development, and the VSAC team is accomplished at navigating resources related to short-term training,” stated Tracy Dolan, State Refugee Office of the Vermont Agency of Human Services.
VSAC’s EOC program helps Vermont adults access learning opportunities, including classes, certification, career training, and college programs. Whether they are new to the process, returning to school, or are avid lifelong learners, many may receive help in planning their career paths and exploring education options, getting financial aid to pay for college or career training, setting themselves up for success in school, and more.
“I would definitely encourage students to use VSAC’s programs. I have helped connect a number of friends to VSAC’s EOC. It’s super helpful; it’s a great thing to do,” noted Wazir Hashimi, Co-Founder and Board President of the Vermont Afghan Alliance.
Afghans who are interested in meeting with an VSAC EOC Counselor may call 877-961-4369 to schedule a free appointment.
Vermont Student Assistance Corporation is a public, nonprofit agency established by the Vermont Legislature in 1965 to help Vermonters achieve their education and training goals after high school. VSAC serves students and their families in grades 7-12, as well as adults returning to school, by providing education and career planning services, need-based grants, scholarships, and education loans. VSAC awards millions of dollars in grants and scholarships for Vermont students and administers Vermont’s VT529 savings plan. Find us at www.vsac.org or check out Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.