WES Living the Mission

WES Living the Mission is a staff-led volunteer program which provides all WES staff with an opportunity to find new ways to empower internationally educated individuals and bring the WES mission to life. Staff from across the organization propose, design, and execute all WES Living the Mission projects.

The first two projects were a mentorship program that paired WES volunteers with skilled immigrants seeking to obtain professional employment in the U.S., and a video project, Stories of Immigrants, featuring immigrants’ speaking about their experiences of coming to the U.S., the journeys they took once here, and the struggles they encountered along the way.

Living the Mission Mentorship and Support Group Program

The Mentorship and Support Group Program enables skilled immigrants, refugees, and asylees to develop and practice essential skills that support professional integration. More than 35 staff volunteered to organize the program and serve as mentors for 30 mentees. WES volunteers worked with mentees to develop professional goals, find employment opportunities commensurate with their experience and education, craft résumés, network, and prepare for job interviews. As a result, mentees have been able to find jobs in their field or continue their education. WES volunteers worked in partnership with the Andrew Romay New Immigrant Center.

Living the Mission Stories of Immigrants

The Stories of Immigrants project brought together more than 30 WES staff who volunteered to find, interview, record, and publicize immigrants’ stories of struggle and perseverance in the U.S. After more than a year, volunteers’ efforts culminated with a screening event at the Tenement Museum in New York where WES staff and guests were invited to view the final videos. Immigrant storytellers hailed from various countries such as Venezuela, Colombia, Italy, and Russia, but they all had one thing in common, their desire to live the American dream.