Elize Dushimimana and her family moved to Cedar Rapids, Iowa in 1999 as refugees. Eliza went on to attend the University of Iowa and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. Since Eliza is a refugee herself, she wants to give back and help other refugees who are now experiencing the same challenges as her. She hopes to provide support for families getting adjusted to a new culture and becoming more integrated into their Iowa communities.
“I joined RefugeeRISE because my family and I were welcomed warmly from various community members upon arrival and I’d like to pay it forward. Being an AmeriCorps member will help me do just that and it’s exciting!”
Elize is served her RefugeeRISE AmeriCorps term with Eastern Iowa African Diaspora in Cedar Rapids. EIAD is a youth-led organization with a mission to expose the culture and tradition of the African diaspora, and to empower young people to become active community members.
Following her service, Elize earned a position with EMBARC as a Member Support Coordinator for the RISE program.