Catholic Charities Refugee and Immigration Services (CCRIS) and the University of Southern Maine are hosting New Mainers Day to welcome recently arrived refugee and asylee families to the Portland community. The event will be held in the Woodbury Campus Center. Most CCRIS clients attending will have been in Maine for less than one year. The goal of the event is for refugee families to meet one another, to meet community members, and to learn more about USM’s programs. The event will include food from local restaurants and markets, activities for kids, music, academic study information, and campus tours for refugees interested in studying at USM. Recordings and a short demonstration will be provided by Jacob Wolff of Maine Marimba Ensemble. Children’s activities will encourage reflection upon positive experiences during their transition to Maine. CCRIS clients will be picked up by CCRIS staff at various bus stops in Portland and Westbrook, facilitating access to the event.
Community-Based Learning gives students the opportunity to gain valuable experience, explore career directions, develop global citizenship skills, give back to the community, and apply and explore personal and academic interests. Internships, service-learning courses, practica, and community service are all essential parts of the USM experience.