The best ideas come from the American people. Everyone has a story to tell, everyone has a part to play.

All across the country, ordinary Americans are doing extraordinary things in their communities to out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world. We invite these Champions of Change to the White House to share their ideas to win the future.

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World Refugee Day Champions of Change

The White House recognizes individuals as World Refugee Day Champions of Change who are making a difference in the lives of refugees in the United States and abroad.


Mone Aye was born in the Mae La Refugee camp in Thailand and lived there for the first 19 years of her life. In 2008, Mone resettled in the United States, then became a United States citizen in...

Sasha Chanoff has worked for two decades in refugee rescue, relief, and resettlement operations in Africa and the United States. He is the founder and executive director of RefugePoint, a...

Anna Crosslin has served as President and CEO of the International Institute of St. Louis (IISTL) for nearly 37 years. Founded in 1919, the IISTL is the region’s Welcoming Center for New Americans...

Ben Gucciardi is the founder of Soccer Without Borders (SWB), a non-profit organization whose mission is to use soccer as a vehicle for positive change in the lives of underserved youth, providing...

Micheal Ighodaro joined AVAC, an organization that advocates for HIV prevention to end AIDS, in the fall of 2014 as a Program and Policy Assistant. Micheal is a passionate advocate for LGBTI...

Nadia Kasvin started her career in refugee resettlement 21 years ago when she came to the United States as a refugee from Ukraine. In 2003, Nadia co-founded US Together, Inc., a state-wide...

Zeljka Krvavica came to the United States in 1993 as a refugee from Bosnia and Herzegovina after fleeing her home in war-ravaged Sarajevo. Since then she has devoted her life to helping other...

Mariela Shaker, born in 1990 in Aleppo, Syria, started playing the violin at the age of ten when she joined the Arabic Institute of Music in Aleppo. Mariela was a very active performer in Syria...

Marwan Sweedan graduated from Baghdad Medical School in 2003. Between 2003 and 2007, he worked as a doctor at Ramadi Hospital and with the Swiss Agency for Development and Corporation (SDC),...

Gatluak Ter Thach, PhD, is founder and current President and CEO of Nashville International Center for Empowerment (NICE). Gat was a refugee and former child soldier from South Sudan who came to...

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