Get to know our dedicated team
Get to know our dedicated team
Vice President and Co-Founder
Lead Case Manager
Sadiya fled the civil war in Somalia in the early 1990s and became a respected educator and advocate for women and girls in refugee camps in Kenya. Advocating for girls’ education was contested and dangerous, and Ms. Omar’s life was in danger in the camp. Because of that, her application for asylum was fast-tracked and she arrived in the United States in 2001, after residing in refugee camps for ten years. She continued her tireless advocacy after resettling in Rochester, working with other Somali refugees to form the Somali Community of Western New York (SCWNY), which became Refugees Helping Refugees in 2015. Continue reading “Sadiya Omar”
Andi has worked personally and professionally with refugees, victims of human trafficking and other displaced people for more than 15 years. Andi is multilingual (Arabic, Bambara, Spanish, French and Italian) and has a Masters degree in Psychology. She previously was the Health Program Director and Speaker Series Coordinator at RHR and an ESL instructor through RCSD’s OACES program. Prior to relocating to Rochester, she worked in a prominent human rights and legal services agency in New York City providing direct legal and social services for human trafficking and domestic violence victims. She served as a host for 8 years in the US State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program providing an overview of best practices in trauma-informed care for and identification of trafficking victims to visiting diplomats.
Pia came to RHR in 2016 as a development specialist/grant writer. In 2017 she stepped in as Program Director. She holds a Ph.D. in Cultural Studies and spent a decade in public higher education teaching courses in immigration, race, and gender studies. She has also taught English as a Second Language to Central American immigrants and conducted field research on anti-immigrant mobilization in Northern Virginia. She is a public education advocate and is excited to partner with organizations and agencies in Rochester to make educational and vocational opportunities accessible to refugees and other new Americans.
Assistant Case Manager
Pam has been with Refugees Helping Refugees since 2016. While her background is in English literature and teaching, she feels that social work is her true calling. In addition, she is a passionate advocate for racial justice along with immigration, adoption and mental health reform.
Communications and Fundraising Specialist
Oprah is our AmeriCorps Vista communications and fundraising specialist. She graduated from the University of Florida in 2020 with a B.A. in Political Science and Sustainability. She has experience working with various non-profit organizations that focus on community building through the provision of resources to migrants, foster children, and other marginalized groups. She is passionate about social justice, racial justice, and environmental justice. Her passion for refugee work was sparked in 2018 after accompanying her college professor on a trip to Senegal and Morocco to research and record the real-life experiences of refugees and migrants. She is an avid book reader and a novice writer who hopes to turn her passions into a lifelong career as a journalist.