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News & Upcoming Events

IISTL News Brief - October Issue

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December 8, 2016
12:15 - 2:30pm

Path to Citizenship
Information event about becoming a US Citizen. Click here for more information.

Syrian Refugee Crisis
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Welcome!
The International Institute, established in 1919, is a pioneer in the field of diversity. In all our comprehensive array of adjustment services reaches more than 7,500 immigrants and refugees from 75 countries, approximately 8% of the St. Louis City and County 2010 foreign-born population.

As a result, the Institute has important multigenerational ties to local immigrant communities. Our programs and services are locally and nationally-acclaimed. We also have deep knowledge of the state of the immigrant communities and population trends. We serve as key consultants on a broad range of issues affecting the social, cultural and economic health of our region. Our mission is to help immigrants and their families become productive Americans and champion ethnic diversity as a cultural and economic strength.

The Institute’s highly-acclaimed programs are arranged in THREE SERVICE PILLARS:

OUR THREE PILLARS STARTING OVER

Immersion
We have had a hand in the resettlement and integration of nearly every new immigrant population in St. Louis for almost 95 years. We work with newcomers to provide initial housing, jobs and orientation and health support as needed. Later we provide citizenship and other community integration services – so vital during what is, for many immigrants, a lifelong adjustment process.

English, Computer & Citizenship Classes for AdultsJob SearchEmployment TrainingRefugee ResettlementImmigration Application Preparation & PhotosMental Health ServicesElderly ServicesCounseling & Social WorkHuman Trafficking

Investment
Awareness is growing that immigrants add economic value to our community and state as consumers, workers and entrepreneurs. When they start businesses as a disproportionately large number of them do, they create jobs and wealth for our entire community. Providing technical support and microloans to immigrants yields a high payback for everyone.

Small Business Technical AssistanceBusiness Development Micro-LoansPeer Lending ProgramFinancial LiteracyAsset-BuildingCredit CounselingUrban Farming & Product Sales

Inclusion
Newcomers and long-timers must appreciate and value one another to successfully live and work together. There must also be ways for them to communicate and learn from each other. We are the St. Louis region's authority on issues that involve connecting immigrants and the wider community. We offer fee-based multilingual communication solutions so companies can take greater advantage of the growing global business market; recruit and retain a multicultural workforce; and build a larger multicultural customer base. We also produce the annual Festival of Nations, which showcases multicultural performances, demonstrations, and food. Offered free to the general public, the festival draws more than 140,000 visitors together while raising money and awareness for people-in-need.

Festival of NationsTranslation & Interpretationthe i - International Community CalendarSpeakers BureauCulture Links DirectoryMulticultural & Ethnic Market ResearchCultural Competency TrainingMulticultural Communication Training

Together, we can improve lives and help strengthen the St. Louis region.

Ahmed

Building a New Life

Ahmed and his family arrived in St. Louis nearly two decades ago. Today, the seven family members lead full lives as American citizens of Iraqi heritage.

Saddam’s regime had accused Ahmed’s father of being a spy, and he had been arrested. At their first opportunity, they escaped to Jordan. After 18 months they received a US resettlement offer, and as their sponsor we were here in St. Louis to welcome and help them.

Ahmed at 12 was the youngest, so we enrolled him in public school. His parents began English classes at IISTL, and Ahmed’s older sister also returned to school, eventually receiving her BA and MA degrees. Now she actually works here at the Institute!

Soon, we placed Ahmed’s parents in jobs. His mother worked in alterations and his father in a flour factory. Eventually, he found work in his field as an auto mechanic. It wasn’t easy for the family, especially when faced with rising anti-Muslim hostilities following 9-11, but they persevered.

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