Fairfield resident receives volunteer award

Francine Holmes

Francine Holmes

At its recent Volunteer Recognition Dinner, the International Institute of Connecticut (IICONN) presented the first annual Angela R. Andersen award to Francine Holmes, who has been interning with IICONN since the fall.

Holmes just graduated from UCONN with a Masters in Social Work. She has been an invaluable member of IICONN’s team this year.

“While all of our volunteers are wonderful, I can’t begin to think of one who has come close to making the impact that Francine has over the year that she’s been with us”, said IICONN staff attorney Ellen Messali. “We rely on her for so much, and she never disappoints.”

The Angela R. Andersen award was established this year in memory of IICONN’s Executive Director, who passed away last November. “Angela herself started at IICONN as an intern volunteer, so we thought it would be fitting to rename our Volunteer of the Year Award in her memory,” said Marie Dallas, Director of Operations at IICONN. “Angela would be thrilled that Francine was the first recipient.

“My internship at IICONN was uniquely wonderful and fulfilling,” says Ms. Holmes. IICONN is made up of a remarkable and supportive ensemble that tirelessly assists resettled refugees through the obstacles of their transition. I was given a rare opportunity to be a part of that process and I will always look back on it with fond memories.”

The International Institute of Connecticut, founded in 1918, is a statewide nonprofit human service agency that assists refugees and immigrants in Connecticut resolve legal, economic, linguistic and social barriers so that they become self-sufficient, integrated and contributing members of the community. The Institute achieves this mission by providing a compassionate array of high-quality legal, social and educational programming and by promoting cross cultural understanding and decent treatment for all. It also provides specialized services to victims of serious crimes such as human trafficking, torture, and domestic violence. Each year, the Institute assists over 7000 individuals from its offices in Bridgeport, Stamford and Hartford.

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