Shabnam is the Administrative Coordinator. Shabnam worked as an office manager and administrative assistant in Kabul, Afghanistan, before coming to the United States in March 2020. She speaks Dari, Pashto and Urdu and says: “I am super excited to work with you all and am looking forward to meeting you in person hopefully near in the future.”
Janet is the SHC Volunteer Engagement Manager. She was previously a volunteer and community outreach coordinator at the International Rescue Committee in her hometown of Tucson, AZ. She did her undergraduate and master's degrees in international relations, and since moving to the D.C. metro area, she has worked in international development and healthcare. When she's not spending time with her husband, two kids, and dog, she enjoys dance fitness and honing her at-home barista skills.
Kate is co-Founder and Director of Operations & Finance for SHC where she manages the financial activities of the organization to ensure sound governance and transparency. Every day Kate is inspired by the kindness, generosity and warmth of the people and families she assists.
Marzia began learning English with SHC in 2019 and completed the SHC Citizenship class before successfully naturalizing as a US citizen. Marzia joins SHC Administrative Coordinator. Originally from Herat, Afghanistan, Marzia came to the United States with a Special Immigrant Visa as a result of her work with the United Nations as a lawyer in Afghanistan. Marzia began taking classes with SHC in 2019, and studied English and Citizenship with SHC and she is now a Citizen of the United States along with her husband and two boys.
Baryalai Rawan came to the United States as a result of the chaotic evacuation from Afghanistan in 2021, and joins SHC as Community Resource Connector. Bary received a Master's Degree in Public Policy from KDI School of Public Policy and Management in South Korea and has extensive experience in community outreach, advocacy, governance and policy development. Bary has worked to advance gender equality and to enhance the lives of immigrants, citizens and people in need. "I am thrilled and honored to work with the SHC community in building better communities for refugee and immigrant families."
Amal is SHC's Early Childhood Enrichment Teacher and works with SHC preschoolers while their moms attend classes in our library program. Amal dreamed of becoming a teacher, leading her to complete a 90 hour child care provider certificate for a pre school setting. Amal speaks Arabic and English. Amal arrived in the US with her husband and two young sons as refugees. Amal and her husband completed the SHC Citizenship Program and the family are now US citizens. Amal enjoys helping other newcomers succeed in the US.
Tessa brings over 10 years of experience of ESL teaching at Northern Virginia Community College to her role as English Language Learner Program Manager. She has taught diverse classes of adult immigrants, refugees, and international students at a wide range of levels. She also has experience with teacher training and course development. She holds a Master's in TESOL from American University, and really loves playing soccer and reading fiction.
Merritt is Founder and Executive Director of SHC working to shape SHC programs, goals and vision for the future, building thriving futures and giving families tools to succeed in their communities. She is passionate about working with new members of the community, sharing local knowledge and a love of metro DC.