Campus & Community

Ceremony recognizing local refugees to be held on campus

A drawing by Daliannys Sollet, who will receive the Outstanding Refugee Award at the event. Sollet won the event’s drawing contest with the image.

The Dr. Kathryn W. Davis Global Education Center at Palm Beach State College is partnering with local organizations to recognize and raise awareness of refugees living in the community.

The Center, along with the Palm Beach Area Refugee Task Force and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, will hold the Palm Beach County World Refugee Day and Citizenship Ceremony June 23 on Palm Beach State’s Lake Worth campus.

The free event will be held from 9 a.m. to noon at the Public Safety Training Center Room 108.

Themed “Refugees Building the Future with the Community,” it will feature music, speakers, award presentations and information tables from various service organizations to provide resources for refugee families.

The event will conclude with a swearing-in ceremony, where 30 new United States citizens will receive their certificate of naturalization.

The keynote speaker is Dr. Maria Vallejo, the vice president for growth and expansion and provost of the Belle Glade and Loxahatchee Groves campuses, who will discuss her journey as an immigrant trying to adapt to a life in New York City.

“We are proud to host an event like this here on our campus and want to do everything we can to make refugees feel at home,” said Dr. Jeannett Manzanero, director of the Dr. Kathryn W. Davis Global Education Center that is sponsoring the event. “Oftentimes, these people feel displaced, desolated, afraid or hopeful once they have fled to American soil. Whatever their emotions, it is our hope that we can help them begin their new journey on a positive note.”

Also in attendance will be Jose Tagle, assistant to West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio; Tina Marciano, constituent liaison for U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel; Pam Triolo, mayor of Lake Worth; and Clay Walker, circuit community development director for the Florida Department of Children and Families.

Some of the organizations present will include the Early Learning Coalition of Palm Beach County, Catholic Charities Diocese of Palm Beach, Inc., the Health Council of Southeast Florida, the Palm Beach County Library System and the Florida Department of Children and Families, among others.

World Refugee Day is celebrated nationally each year on June 20.

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