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Volunteer Spotlight: Georgina Schneider

For National Volunteer Month, we appreciate all of our volunteers for their commitment to making Indianapolis a welcoming city for refugees. We would like to highlight Georgina Schneider, who has been volunteering with Exodus for the past four years. She started as a volunteer at one of our English classes. Now she tutors English to a refugee family in their home with help from her husband.

Georgina and her husband have been more than just our English tutors. They are a part of our family now. 

– Exodus Client

Why did you want to get involved with Exodus?

I was an ESL teacher in Perry Township since 2011 and really wanted to empower my students’ families, so I signed up to teach English. It was great having my students in class during the day and their parents at night! 

What has the experience been like for you? 

It’s been wonderful. Working with refugees has defined resilience and perseverance for me. It’s humbled me and challenged me to look at things from multiple perspectives and advocate for equity for all. 

What has been your favorite moment?

My favorite moment from English class is laughing with my students. When I get stuck on trying to explain something and they just don’t understand- we never get frustrated with one another, we just laugh.

What has this volunteer experience taught you?

I learned a lot about the beautiful traditions of the Muslim religion and Arab culture from tutoring the family. A time came when we were no longer mentors and mentees, but just friends! 

What do you know now about refugees that you didn’t know before volunteering at Exodus?

I knew a little from working in Perry Township, but I learned how to stay informed and advocate. Especially within the last 18 months.

What do you wish more people knew about refugees?

That they are human. They are people who have endured such hardship and just want to be useful and purposeful in their new life. I want people to know the vetting process and stop making blanket ignorant statements that perpetuate a culture of hate.