Hi I am Abby Amato and I am a senior majoring in International Affairs and Psychology. Growing up near Clarkston, Georgia, which is home to one of the largest refugee communities in the south east has inspired me to want to work with organizations like Casa de Amistad. I interned with Refugee Family Services, who offer family services to refugee women and children in the Atlanta area. My work at RFS inspired me to pursue volunteering at another non-profit in the Athens area, which specializes in immigration. In my spare time I enjoy running, drawing, and hanging out with my friends. I cannot wait to begin making a difference with Casa de Amistad this year!
Anna Marie Smith
Hi my name is Anna Marie Smith and I will be serving as a master’s of social work intern for the 2014- 2015 year at Casa de Amistad. I am really looking forward to this year and working with all aspects of the organization. I am originally from Tuscaloosa, Al and attended Presbyterian College where I studied Spanish and Christian Education. When I moved to Athens last year I began working with Casa de Amistad through a school project, then began to volunteer, and now I am excited for my new role as an intern. I began learning Spanish in elementary school and ever since this I have been interested in the Hispanic community and culture. I have continued to study Spanish, travel to Latin America, assisted with ESOL classes, and assisted with Spanish classes. I am looking forward to this year of learning and serving in the Athens community.
Nutritionist- Charlas Instructor
I am a UGA alum (Go Dawgs!), where I received a degree in Nutrition Science. I love everything and anything that deals with food, health, and nutrition! Some of my pastimes include reading, salsa dancing, and exploring new places.
I work as a Public Health Nutritionist for WIC and also, as a Crisis Intervention Specialist for Peace Place. I am very passionate about working with maternal and child health/nutrition. I have hosted nutrition support groups with a group of domestic violence survivors and taught a cooking and nutrition life skills class at Wellspring Living, an organization that assists DMST survivors. I would eventually like to combine nutrition skills with issues of DMST and domestic violence. In the meanwhile, I am happy to have a hand in teaching my community about good, healthy, flavorful food.
I am excited about the upcoming semester, and can’t wait to teach the students at Casa de Amistad!
Project L.E.A.F. Coordinator
I am a PhD student in Human Development and Family Science at the University of Georgia. I am 25 years old, and I am from Cochran, Georgia. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Spanish from Valdosta State University, and I love learning and speaking new languages. I have had opportunities to travel to Europe, the Middle East, and South America, and I never cease to be amazed by the loving, welcoming nature of people around the world.
My research focuses on immigrant and refugee families, and I am am passionate about identity development and refugee health. Project LEAF is an outreach program I developed with a colleague to meet needs of our local immigrant community, and I am so excited to work with the families of Casa de Amistad in February. I look forward to learning from and sharing with them through this experience.
I have been living in Athens with my three-year-old dog, Manfred, for three years now, and I love the multiculturalism and funky spirit of this community. I am involved with the Episcopal Church, and I love to be outdoors or in the kitchen!
I am currently in the Master’s of Nonprofit Organizations program at UGA and am Casa de Amistad’s Graduate Assistant for the 2014-2015 school year. I grew up in North Carolina and attended North Carolina State University for undergrad – majoring in Public Relations. During high school and college, I went on multiple trips to El Salvador for the construction of homes and churches. I spent one summer on a study abroad trip in Peru and had the wonderful opportunity of immersing into their culture. I am eager to see the positive impact that Casa de Amistad is going to make on the Athens community in the upcoming year.
If you would like to volunteer at Casa de Amistad, you can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org