World Education Services (WES) is best known for providing individuals from around the world with verified credential evaluations. However, WES also connects people with information and resources to help them achieve their education, immigration, and career goals in the United States and Canada.
Today, we are proud to share one of our passion projects that goes beyond the scope of verifying credentials, but still aims to help break down international boundaries: The Stories of Immigrants Project.
The Stories of Immigrants Project collects and celebrates the life stories of immigrants and refugees. It features interviews from real people who successfully started a new life in North America. By creating videos that are easy to watch and share anywhere in the world, WES hopes to raise awareness about the realities of uprooting your life in search of a better one—and what happens once you succeed.
The immigrants and refugees in these videos offer their candid thoughts and most sensitive memories—from hopes and disappointments to expectations and challenges. They also speak directly to the next wave of potential newcomers, offering words of understanding, encouragement, and advice.
Additionally, this project reflects our staff’s passion for the organization’s mission. Stories of Immigrants was first introduced in response to an employee-engagement initiative known as Living the Mission. This initiative invites staff to create projects to help them deepen their relationship with the mission at WES.
The Stories of Immigrants Project was one such project, with a clear goal: to share real stories from the real people whose lives have been touched by WES.
Over the course of nearly three years, this humble project evolved into something much bigger than its original core team of volunteers could have imagined. It not only touched the lives of dozens of immigrants and refugees who became involved, but also over 50 collaborators that ultimately nurtured the project at one point or another to get it where it is today.
Stories of Immigrants provided its volunteers with new insights about the day-to-day work taking place across WES. The project also gave them an opportunity to develop existing skill sets—and areas of interest—by participating in project management, storytelling, filmmaking, and interviewing workshops.
Furthermore, it was a chance for staff to build partnerships with local organizations that provide wonderful services for immigrants; these partners ultimately helped to refer storytellers for the project.
Today, The Stories of Immigrants Project officially launches, reflecting the hard work of passionate volunteers from teams and departments across WES—as well as the heartfelt stories of nine immigrants who took part in this project.
We thank them, again, for their faith that we will take good care of their meaningful words. More importantly, we thank them on behalf of the countless newcomers who will benefit now that their stories are out in the world.
Those stories start here: