Staff and Volunteers
Cam Echols is a native Memphian who has worked in partnership with the local refugee community for over 14 years. She initially met the community while working as the social services director for a local ministry in Binghampton when she was approached by a group needing space to help a few refugee youth with homework after school. Cam was moved by the dedication of families to build new lives for themselves in Memphis, and she began volunteering time with the group. Soon after, she began working with them to develop their own ethnic community based organization Refugee Empowerment Program. Cam is also a wife and a mother of four precious children, probably the only thing she loves as much as her work.
An interview with the Executive Director:
I have volunteered at REP since I entered Rhodes College as a Freshman. After visiting many service sites I knew that REP would be the most interesting to me. The organization's emphasis on promoting refugee rights and multiculturalism dovetails nicely with one of my majors-international studies. I like REP because students are able to retain their identities while simultaneously learning about the United States.
To me, REP is a bridge of commitment that serves to aid students and young minds within the Binghampton community. I have volunteered here since my freshman year at Rhodes College. Being apart of this institution has pushed me to gain better control over my own future, not only by sharing knowledge but also by giving the children a chance to gain a foot forward from my experience. Working as a leader and role model at REP has not only shown me how easily one can lose sight of a future path and aspirations, but also how difficult it may be for one to get back on track and stay focused on those goals and aspirations. The way that the children look up to us college students and mentors really satisfies and inspires me to bring as much as I can to REP.
Karina is from St. Louis, Missouri, and is a student and Bonner Scholar at Rhodes College. As a current junior she is studying English, Anthropology, and Sociology. Her focus at the Refugee Empowerment Program revolves around the program's social media status and involvement in the community, youth mentorship, and the improvement of youth literacy.
My name is Jesika Davidson. I am the reading program developer for AmeriCorp. I have a love for reading that goes deeper than the pages. I love reading and growing up reading was a requirement by my father. My passion to teach children to read came from watching my sister struggle with different subjects because she was reading "You can learn anything between the pages of a book."
Greetings! I am an AmeriCorps VISTA serving as the Mentor Coordinator for REP through the Memphis Grizzlies Foundation. My love forREP stems from my love for youth empowerment and development. Having the privilege to be a positive buffer towards peer pressure, negative images of the African American community, and poverty that our children face, is a rewarding experience. As one of the founders of the mentoring program KuPanda, I can assure my scholars that this program is designed out of love!
Adopted from Romania with my twin sister Lauren, I grew up in Dallas my whole life. From the earliest age I recognized my interest in technology and computers, as well as foreign language and culture. This drew me to REP my first semester. Currently a Sophomore at Rhodes College, I plan to major in Computer Science with a minor in Music, and hopefully attend Business School.