International Center to host open house for prospective volunteers

Katelyn Latture

An opportunity to work with refugees living in Bowling Green is coming up this Friday, when the International Center of Kentucky hosts an open house at its Bowling Green office.

The open house will include information for prospective volunteers, as well as refreshments and a raffle. Current volunteers will also share their experiences working with the International Center, according to the event registration page.

Brianna Roberson, the Center’s volunteer coordinator, said volunteering is important because it’s a different experience. She said despite language and cultural barriers, people can still connect to each other.

“You don’t know who you’re going to work with,” said Roberson. “This is your time to experience their culture.”

The International Center provides refugee resettlement, education, job preparation, immigration services, interpretation and translation services and many others, according to its website.

According to the United States Census Bureau’s report for 2012-2016, 14.3 percent of Bowling Green’s population was foreign-born. Many of these foreign-born citizens came to Bowling Green as refugees.

WKU nursing student Kinsley Holland, 18, said she is going to the open house because she was unaware of the refugee situation in the United States before coming to college. Holland said she feels the International Center is the perfect place to learn more about it.

“As I am a firm believer in ‘loving thy neighbor,’ I believe that volunteering there is a practical, yet endearing, way to show your love toward those who may look different than you,” Holland said.

Roberson encouraged others to get involved in volunteering because it says a lot about a person and their priorities.

“Why not do this?” said Roberson. “I started here because I wanted to change stigmas. I learn something new every day.”

Roberson is hosting the open house at the International Center’s Bowling Green office this Friday, April 13 from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. For more information or to reserve a spot, contact Roberson at [email protected] or at 270-781-8336, extension 327.

News reporter Katelyn Latture can be reached at 270-745-6011 and [email protected]