Fairborn native among students serving refugees


Staff report



CEDARVILLE — A Fairborn native attending Cedarville University will be part of a group spending the week serving refugees in Georgia, the university said Thursday.

From May 2 to May 9, Dr. Thad Franz, vice chair of experiential programs at Cedarville, and N.D. Nguyen, a first-year graduate student in pharmacy, will lead a team of students to serve the refugee community in Clarkston, Georgia. Among those going on the trip is Priscilla Amoako, a Doctor of Pharmacy major native to Fairborn.

The team is mostly made up of students in health care or education majors. Health care-related students will serve with Ethnos medical clinic and other local clinics, assisting nurses and physicians with patient check-ups, organizing drug storage, dispensing medication, providing health screenings, administering COVID-19 vaccines and performing other related tasks.

Clarkston, Georgia has become home to thousands of refugees from more than 40 nations who speak more than 60 languages. In February 2020, NPR reported that between 2015 and 2019, the small Atlanta suburb of about 13,000 residents ranked first in the nation for resettling the highest number of refugees per capita (among cities resettling 100 or more refugees per year), according to APM Research.

“Clarkston is the most diverse square mile in America,” said Franz. “I am amazed at how the Lord brings the nations to us when we cannot go to them.”

Students from the school of education will work at a local elementary school, serving as teaching assistants, helping with after-school programs, tutoring and cleaning, which is especially important in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“My goal for the students as health care professionals is to be able to meet a need in unconventional ways,” said Franz. “Some of these factors are due to the lack of resources in underserved areas, cultural differences, or sustained medical services. Ultimately, we want to serve in a way that shares Christ’s love in tangible ways.”

Students going on the trip include Priscilla Amoako of Fairborn, Nguyen Nguyen of Cedarville, and Jordan Penrod of Cedarville.

Staff report