Welcome to WTA!

IBSA hopes event ‘only the start’ to helping groups in need


Courtesy of Esther Low

WELCOMED DONATIONS – Student chairs of the Welcome to America committee at DM Jiatian Yin (11) and Esther Low (10) taking a break from loading donated computers onto a Welcome to America truck. This was taken at the Computer Drive where they collected donated electronics from DM students.

Isaac Williams, Staff writer

Running a club while balancing school can be challenging.

Planning events during the pandemic can be seemingly impossible.

Being a refugee can be tragic.

The Welcome to America committee at DM deals with all of these issues, everything from helping with refugees’ resettlement in Arizona to spreading awareness about the club, through events and drives that they have done, like the game night.

The International Baccalaureate’s recent Game Night sparked unity and gave hope for the future of virtual events.

“It raises money for WTA, it creates student activity for IBSA, and it provides comradery between the students in the club,” said Junior Yeju Srivastava. Sydney Grom (10), member of the committee, said she “wanted to support the organization.”

There were 10 sections of trivia, and the person who won the most overall points won the Starbucks gift card. The different sections included topics like world records, music, sports, science, and other similar subjects. After an intense trivia showdown, sophomore Emily Baker won with the most overall correct answers. 

Before the games, contestants viewed a video about the Welcome to America project, an IBSA subcommittee dedicated to helping and making the lives of refugees better.

Welcome to America’s mission is to support refugees’ resettlement in Arizona,” said sophomore Esther Low, “Refugees face a variety of difficult challenges in achieving self-sufficiency, like becoming familiar with their new country, securing an affordable place to live, learning about resources available to assist them in resettlement, finding and retaining employment, acquiring a new language, and learning how to access public health and behavioral health medical services.”

All the profit made from this event went directly to the WTA project and helping refugees.

Missed game night? Don’t worry! There will likely be many more events like this, and anyone wanting to directly help the WTA project can donate or participate in one of their events, such as the computer drive earlier this year.

It’s no doubt that the virus has made the project much harder to continue. Events have been cancelled, and planning events and spreading information about the project has been challenging. Still, the students in the organization have been working hard to keep the club activity up.

“COVID has given the Welcome to America committee a challenge this year for sure,” said Low, “Events had to be planned so that everyone could stay safe.”

While the virus may have hindered some of the progression of the project, the WTA committee still has big plans for the future, and they are just getting started. 

To support the cause , check out the WTAP website here.

“Our previous events are only the start to the future,” Low said, “being more and more involved in helping refugees. Although I will not be at DMHS in a couple years, I know the future of the committee here at DM will continue to make an impact in refugee’s lives.”