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”
Dina Johnson is the founder and CEO of the Monroe County Family Coalition, Inc. (MCFC), a 501(c)(3) community service organization, and Executive Director at the Refugees Helping Refugees.
Dina graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology with a bachelor’s degree in biomedical science/premed with a concentration in psychology. She also holds a graduate certificate in nonprofit management leadership from St. John Fisher College. In the fall of 2021, Dina began her graduate studies in marriage and family therapy at the University of Rochester.
Dina’s research endeavors focus on alcohol/substance abuse, dementia caregiving, and women’s oncology. She has received awards such as Direct Clinical Impact in the Community, and the Use of Imaging and Promoting Science for her involvement in a research project using a virtual health coach application.
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.
Project Manager/ESOL Professor
Sara Muriello is a cross-cultural communication specialist, author, public speaker, and professor. Sara joins the RHR team with 25 years of experience working with refugees and international relations. She holds a BA in Communications and International Business from the American University of Rome, an MBA in International Finance from St. John’s University Peter J. Tobin College of Business Rome Campus, and is TESOL certified in teaching English as a second language. Sara is fluent in both English and Italian.
Sadat joined RHR on October 20, 2021 as an ESL teacher. He is originally from Afghanistan, but he immigrated to Rochester, New York in July 2021 to start a new and safe life for himself and his family. He has experience as an Administrative Assistant, in Public Administration, as an Operations Manager, interpreting, teaching, giving training seminars, as well as coordinating and organizing several academic and cultural meetings in collaboration with international NGOs. Sadat holds an English Language Teaching License from ITTI New York/ Afg (TEFL/TESOL Certificate) and also has 12 years of teaching experience at (ALC) Adult Learning Center, X-pert International Training And Testing Center, Afghan India Training Center, and the Oxford Institute of Education.
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.