Chamber News

Non-Profit Spotlight: Riverview International Center | October 2023 Workforce Report

October 19th, 2023

Hamida’s extraordinary work with Ryma

Our Community Care Team, led by Hamida Ouali, is designed to personally address our neighbors’ unique needs. The following story is just one of many examples illustrating how this caring team reaches out and responds to crisis.

The story begins in February 2022 in Toledo, Ohio, when Ryma and her mother, Lila, arrived from Algeria for medical treatment. Confined to a wheelchair, Ryma was born with Spina Bifida. After one year in Toledo, she had been unable to secure accessible schooling or receive the needed medication and treatment. Then, a mutual friend introduced Lila to Hamida and the Community Care Team at the RIC. Within two weeks, Ryma and Lila moved to Columbus into an apartment Hamida secured, furnished from generous donations from the Kabyle community in Toledo and Columbus (a Berber ethnic group indigenous to Algeria). Ryma soon started in-person classes at Centennial High School, became insured for medical treatment and extended her medical visa. She began receiving regular care and treatment from a doctor, as well as transportation to her appointments. This past June, Ryma graduated from Centennial High School with Hamida in the audience cheering her on!

But, this was not the end of the story. Hamida and the team helped Ryma secure scholarships to study Computer Science at Columbus State. They are also searching for an upgraded wheelchair that will allow Ryma to move more independently.  

“Hamida was so fast to respond when she heard about my situation as a new person here in the United States with a disabled child. She took care of my case as if it were her own and I genuinely cannot thank her enough. The things she has done for me have been very touching and her empathy and understanding is like no other.”    – Lila

Riverview Partner: CAS

The RIC’s involvement with our CAS neighbors began when one of their staff, Andrea Jacobs, joined the RIC Board of Directors.

Terra and Nicole distribute blankets made for neighbors by the CAS
“New Shoes for New Americans” was the name of the first project led by the CAS Young Professionals staff, providing 89 pairs of shoes for our neighbors over the past 2 winters.
Kids play atop a huge pile of dirt at the Sept. and another child helps paint pavers at the Mid-Ohio Farm at NBC4’s community day.

Last week CAS provided our 2nd annual science enrichment festival for our children complete with STEM activities and hands-on science.
CAS helped connect us with the NBC4 urban farm project at its inception. Thanks to this open door, our neighbors have enjoyed fresh vegetables during harvest time and are able to grow small gardens of their own on the property. 
And the list goes on. When the demand for backpacks far surpassed our estimates, CAS stepped in with 90 more backpacks filled with school supplies.

CAS also continues to offer free printing for the RIC by using their high-level printers, saving us hundreds of dollars. The RIC and our New American neighbors have greatly benefited from the CAS outreach programs and we look forward to continuing to partner in the future.

CAS is a division of the American Chemical Society headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, just minutes away from the RIC. CAS, also a non-profit, accelerates innovation by supporting the information needs of scientists.

Riverview Volunteer Needs: Behind the Scenes

The RIC helps our many new American neighbors and can offer so many projects and work because of volunteers. We are growing and are in need of people to help behind the scenes too. If you want to “hang around” the office or even work from home, we have the jobs for you:

  • Office assistant: 1-2 hours/week in the office: Assisting staff as needed including entering service data
  • Remote – Adding calendar updates on our website
  • Remote – Using software to format our monthly newsletter (advanced skills)
  • Communications Assistant – creating CANVA graphics for social media posts, posting social media posts as suggested by staff, assisting with sending/emailing letters

If interested, contact Angelica.  We welcome you!

Kelly Fuller 
Vice President of Talent & Workforce Development