DENVER (CBS4) – The Multicultural Mosaic Foundation is coming together to help immigrant students in Colorado have what they need to succeed in the classroom before the new school year. Starting off at a new school is tough enough for most kids, but imagine if you were starting a new school in a totally different country.
Gulsum Katner knows what that is like.
“The biggest challenge with the newcomers, the immigrants is to be accepted in an environment,” she said.
Katner emigrated from Turkey to go to college and says the biggest struggle was wondering if she belonged. Once she felt accepted, she was able to focus on the things every student should be worried about like her school work.
“If they feel loved and cared (for) and like they are part of it, it will work for them,” she said.
Now she’s the CEO of Multicultural Mosaic Foundation in Aurora. They’ve created an annual fundraising program for immigrant and refugee students at South High School in Denver.
They collect donations to give freshmen backpacks full of school supplies.
“We want to give a chance to society to welcome those refugee kids and immigrant kids, and also to show those refugee and immigrant kids that society is willing to accept you.”
Katner says if students have the basics they don’t have to worry so much about fitting in, and that encourages them to stay in school. She says it’s not much, but it’s a huge first step and each backpack is more than just paper and pens.
“As soon as they have the backpack they realized it is not just help. It is love inside.”