1. Introduce yourself! What is your role at LSI and how long have you been a member of the team?
My name is Ruaa and I’ve been with LSI for two years. I started as a Registration Associate and after one year, I became a Child Care Specialist.
2. What keeps you passionate about the work you do at LSI?
The happiness when I see our clients receive their child care certification or open their own child care business.
3. Can you tell us about your journey to building a home in Iowa?
I grew up in Iraq, where I graduated with a degree in economic agriculture from the University of Baghdad and married my husband. After that, we went to Turkey as immigrants and waited for two years to immigrate to the U.S. My husband, our two daughters, and I arrived in Des Moines in August of 2016 and were with friends for one week, then found an apartment and started to see the new community here in America. My husband and I welcomed our third daughter here. I went to DMACC to study English and tried to find a job. Once I started working with LSI, my life changed. At LSI, I have friends and many people around me. That’s changed my life.
4. How did you feel when you first arrived in the U.S.?
It was a combination between happiness and fear. I wanted to come here and now I’m finally here after waiting in Turkey for two years without any job or work, just waiting for this moment. So when I arrived, I was happy. But there is fear because I knew nothing about it, I don’t have the language, or any of these things. So it was a mix of those feelings.
5. What is your favorite thing about living in Iowa now?
The people. They’re very helpful and very sweet.
6. What do you want others to know about our refugee and immigrant community in Iowa?
I want them to know that we work hard for all immigrants here. We want Iowa to be a good place for immigrants and refugees, and we work hard for that within LSI.
7. What can we do to show our support for our refugee and immigrant community as we celebrate World Refugee Day this year?
Show them that we are here all the time, not just on World Refugee Day.