Personal tools

Support Staff

Meet our district and school-based Refugee and Newcomer Support Staff.

Refugee Point of Contact

  • Primary contact for schools.
  • Coordinates and oversees district refugee and newcomer supports. 

  • Supervises Refugee Case Managers and Specialists.
  • 
Works with local community organizations to build collaborative partnerships to support newcomer education.

Brandon Baca, Refugee Point of Contact

Brandon Baca.

Contact

Email: Phone: (505) 803-7781

Biography

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.

Refugee Case Managers

Refugee Case Managers support refugee students, families and the schools that serve them. Case Managers speak various languages that are common amongst newcomers in APS. Families may contact the Case Manager who speaks their language. 

  • Refugee family/parent engagement
  • Student and family support
  • Community outreach 
  • School support

Meet the Refugee Case Managers

Edmond Mwamba, African Refugee Case Manager

Twite "Edmond" Mwamba.
Languages I Speak
  • English
  • French
  • Swahili
  • Lingala
  • Tshiluba
Contact

Email: Phone: (505) 274-0804

Biography

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.

Dina Raheem, Arabic Refugee Case Manager

Dina Raheem.Languages I Speak
  • English
  • Arabic
Contact

Email: Phone: (505) 506-9416

Biography

I am a refugee from Iraq and I have a B.S. in Materials Engineering. I had 7 years’ experience in the 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 classroom, 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 the Middle East with different cultures and traditions from American culture I can help break down cultural 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 a 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.

Mohammad Ismail, Afghan Refugee Case Manager

Mohammad Ismail.
Languages I Speak
  • English
  • Dari
  • Farsi
  • Pashto
  • Urdu/Hindi
Contact

Email: Phone: (505) 270-4624

Biography

I am a refugee from Kabul, Afghanistan and moved to Albuquerque, NM on special immigration visa (SIV) in 2013. I served with US armed forces as an Interpreter and translator for three and a half years in Kabul, Afghanistan.

In 2008, I graduated high school in Kabul, Afghanistan, recently completed my medical interpreter qualification training with University of New Mexico Hospitals and my medical assistant diploma at Brookline college, Albuquerque campus.  I worked as a clerk, dual role interpreter, registrar and medical assistant at University of New Mexico Hospitals for the over three years. I simultaneously helped with Refugee Well-being Project as an interpreter and interviewer.

As a Refugee Case Manager, I will use my language skills (Dari, Pashto, Urdu/Hindi, and Farsi) to educate refugee parents and students about the education system in Albuquerque Public Schools and establish a good relationship of trust, open communication and bridge the gap between parents and schools. I always prioritize my time and work and will make reminder calls to parents and guardians about parent-teacher conferences and follow-up on other duties. I will directly work with other organizations and entities to find volunteers, tutors and resources to students and resources for parents and students as needed.

Specialists

Specialists provide academic and social support to newcomers. They speak the languages of the local refugee community.

  • Provide in-classroom support to newcomer students.
  • Work alongside teachers to ensure that course material is accessible.
  • Translate and explain complicated concepts.

Meet the Specialists

Chantal Muhumure, La Mesa Elementary

Chantal Muhumure and student holding a sign saying "Good job! Wakoze heza."Languages I Speak
  • English
  • Kinyarwanda
  • Kirundi
  • Kinyamulunge
  • Swahili
  • French
  • Kibembe
Biography

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

Farida Ibrahim, Van Buren Middle School

Farida Ibrahim.Languages I Speak
  • English
  • Swahili
Biography

Farida is from Kenya and speaks Swahili and English.

    Mbarak Hussein, Highland High School

    Mbarak Hussein.Languages I Speak
    • English
    • Swahili
    Biography

    Mbarak is from Kenya and speaks Swahili and English.

      Parwin Hussaini, Multiple Schools

      Parwin Hussaini.Languages I Speak
      • English
      • Dari
      • Farsi
      • Urdu/Hindi
      Biography

      Parwin is from Afghanistan and speaks Dari, Farsi, Urdu, and English.