Last week, Knoxville Internationals Network (a.k.a. KIN) did something we’ve never done before. We had a volunteer appreciation dinner. Why do such a thing now? Because we’re celebrating five years as a nonprofit, and it was only natural to celebrate our birthday by celebrating those at the heart of our organization: our volunteers!
In the past five years, more than 500 volunteers have passed through KIN.
Sherry moved to Knoxville in time to attend two sessions of an English class before Christmas a couple of years ago. She spoke English at what our lead ESL teacher calls “the blink-blink stage,” meaning she could say little beyond “hello.” But she persevered.
Afternoons in southern Iraq are hot. Working in his university’s research gardens, Safaa Alshuwaili was sweating when he noticed an interesting ant and followed it back to its hive. That ant belonged to the first of five ant species he found, classified, and named while studying there. In 2010, Safaa graduated with his master’s degree in environmental science.
He took a position at another university, where he taught insect taxonomy and classification for seven years. Then he received a scholarship to continue his studies in the United States. Safaa left his parents and five siblings in Iraq, landing in Cincinnati, Ohio, at Christmas time in 2013. He spoke almost no English.
Read the stories of Knoxville's local internationals and the volunteers who have impacted their lives. Get a first-hand view of what it's like to move here and/or to serve those who've moved here from other countries. Discover how KIN has impacted life and culture in metro Knoxville.