Helping refugees plant deeper roots in West Michigan.

The Refugee Education Center (REC) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit founded in 2006 by immigrants and refugees to Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Our main objectives include:

  • Empowering refugee families to succeed in school and life.
  • Helping refugee children finish school and become self-sufficient.
  • Providing a place to socialize and strengthen community ties for refugee families.
  • Fostering a lasting sense of community that will benefit both refugees and non-refugees.
  • Facilitating leadership development in the refugee community.

We accomplish these goals through School Support, Family Engagement and School Engagement services.

We are supported in our efforts by many donors, volunteers, schools and community partners.

Our Staff

Krishna Bista

Susan Kragt, MPA

Alison Kummer

Abdi Osman

Erin VanMaanen

Nicole “Nikki” Dunn

Mandi Rycenga

Frida Mutoni

Zara Hayat

Basilissa Uwera

Janesta Mukandemezo

Jennifer Wiltse

Agnes Mukagasana

Christine Ingabire

Matt Clark, M.Ed.

Rahma Madnur

Madison “Maddie” Poindexter, MSW

Gin Sum Piang

Innocent Twizere

Hannah Werth

Nasha Huitema, M.Ed., M.A.

Board of Directors

John Harrington

Blerta Bushati, M.Sc.

Lynn Schmoll, M.Ed.

Dr. Rima Shah, MD, MBA

Swithina Mboko, PhD

Mike Roth, J.D.

Rebecca Chabot

Alma Tabakovic, M.A.

Nichole Northern

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