Thanks for everything Mario…

Amaanah Refugee Services recently held its Annual Appreciation event, a special occasion that brought together donors, partners, and dedicated volunteers. This year’s event held a unique significance as it marked the presentation of the inaugural Amaanah Refugee Services CEO’s Heart Award to Mario Castillo, the Chancellor at Lone Star College.

This newly established award is a tribute to individuals in our community who have gone above and beyond to assist those in need. Jida Nabulsi, the CEO of Amaanah Refugee Services, explained her deep admiration for the symbol of the heart, which is integral to our existence. Just as the heart is vital for our physical well-being, Mario’s contributions have been vital in changing the trajectory of students’ lives, making this award the perfect embodiment of his impact.

Mario generously provided four scholarships to youth for the 2022-2023 academic year, and the results were remarkable, with two of those students successfully graduating in May 2023. Abdel Kader and Leonel, two of the beneficiaries, expressed their heartfelt gratitude at the event. Leonel, in an impromptu speech, emphasized, “I can never thank you enough, Mr. Castillo.”

The event also recognized other outstanding individuals. Amaanah Lion’s Head Coach Amine Amrouni, a selfless mentor and coach who instills discipline and motivation in youth, was honored. His dedication is evident in the fact that he often brings his toddler son, Idris, to Amaanah events. Jida praised him, saying, “Amine is one of the most selfless individuals I know, constantly brainstorming ways to support his athletes.”

The Youth Heart Award was presented to Tala Taher, the youngest volunteer, in recognition of her remarkable service, unwavering dedication, and exceptional leadership in the community.

Lastly, a special acknowledgment was extended to the dedicated individuals who have built a strong community for newly arrived refugee women through the Big Sister’s Circle. Sally, Oriana, and Salma, collectively known as the Big Sisters, were commended for their tireless efforts and support.

Other News

Amaanah podcast launches this month

'All you can carry' will begin airing episodes in April, featuring news and interviews on refugee issues. The trailer is now up and running on all major podcast providers.