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Newcomer supports staff

APS Newcomer Support Staff (District Level)

The following staff work with the entire APS district to support students, families and schools.

Brandon Baca, Refugee Point of Contact

Brandon is an Albuquerque native and Manzano High School graduate (Class of 2004). After getting a B.S. in Psychology from the University of New Mexico and began working with refugees through the UNM Refugee Well-being Project in 2007. After graduation in 2008, Brandon joined the U.S. Peace Corps and served as a Health and Community Development Volunteer in Peace Corps Rwanda from 2009-2011. Upon returning to the U.S., Brandon returned to working with refugees, asylees and other forced migrants in Albuquerque. He coordinated the UNM Refugee Well-being Project from 2013-2018. In August of 2018, he became the Refugee Point of Contact for APS. In this position, Brandon seeks to build upon community partnerships to develop equitable supports for newcomer students. He coordinates a team of Refugee Case Managers and Specialists.

Email:  brandon.baca@aps.edu

Phone: 505-803-7781

Twite "Edmond" Mwamba, African Refugee Case Manager:

I am a refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). In the refugee camp of Tongogara in Zimbabwe, I served as a Sanitation Educator. I also served as a facilitator in helping refugees access medical and social services while in Zimbabwe.

As refugee case manager, I will serve as a liaison between parents, students and school administrations. My exposure to various cultures including the East African, the American culture, and even the Mexican culture just to name a few can help break down cultural barriers from the Immigrants communities. In my capacity as a Refugee Case Manager, I will communicate and teach both sides of the coin. Both the administrators about the culture and ways of life refugees have in their background and for the refugees, about the culture and ways of life of their new country. Both sides need to be included for their integration and the benefit of the community. 

I am fluent in English, French, Swahili, Lingala, and Tshiluba, this will also be used to facilitate the refugee’s integration as many will not be able to communicate in English upon their arrival and will need some time to learn the language. As a Case Manager, a community member of Albuquerque and a refugee myself, I will try to help the refugee parents to be more involved in the educational system of their children, so they can be more aware of the different activities being conducted in schools, their children educational performances and understanding more about the various parent-teacher activities such as the conferences and open houses for their families.

Email: mwamba.twite@aps.edu

Phone: 505-274-0804

Dina Raheem, Arabic Refugee Case Manager:

I am refugee from Iraq and I have a B.S. in Materials Engineering. I had 7 years’ experience in Department of Water Resource. I am fluent in English and Arabic and in 2011, I moved to the U.S. as a refugee. I worked over 7 years as a volunteer in Salam Academy School in Albuquerque/ New Mexico and enjoyed being able to help children learn during their first experience in a class room, especially with refugee students with different languages. I also contributed additional time, outside of my set hours, to stay after school and assist with extracurricular activities.

As refugee case manager, I will serve as a bridge between students, parents and school staff such as; teachers, administrations and principals. Because I came from Middle East with different cultures and traditions from American culture I can help break down culture barriers.

In my capacity as a refugee case manager, I will work to integrate communities including both the administrators and teachers explaining refugee culture and experiences that may impact their life in the U.S., and helping students to learn the beauty of the new culture and how to benefit from both cultures to have successful career.

As a case manager, a community member of Albuquerque, and a refugee myself, I will try to help refugee parents to be more involved in the education system of their children such as; parent-teacher conferences to meet with parents and student to determine the needs that are causing barriers to student learning, support school staff in the Refugee Newcomer Program which highly encourage for parents to enjoy in open house.

Email: dina.raheem@aps.edu

Phone: 505-506-9416

TBD, Afghan Refugee Case Manager

This position has not been filled yet.

 

 

APS Newcomer Support Staff (School-based)

The following APS Staff work to support specific schools within APS and do not work with more than one school. 

Chantal Muhumure, Refugee Specialist at La Mesa Elementary Newcomer Program

Chantal is from Rwanda and speaks six African languages including Kinyarwanda, Kirundi, Kinyamulunge, Swahili, French and English). 

TBD, Refugee Specialist

This position has not been filled yet

TBD, Refugee Specialist

This position has not been filled yet

TBD, Refugee Specialist

This position has not been filled yet.

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