FIRM has had a number of new staff join the team over the last few months and we would like you to know who they are! This month, we would like to introduce you to Simara Vongthondy. Simara is the Building Healthy Communities Laotian Advocate who works very hard to ensure that the educational needs of the Lao community are properly being met. She came on board in November of 2015 and has done a tremendous job growing leaders, educating the Lao community about pertinent issues and much more!
Simara was born in Fresno and at the age of 4, moved with her family to Anchorage, Alaska. She lived there until 2007 when she moved back to Fresno to pursue her educational goals. Simara earned her Bachelor’s of Arts in Anthropology from Fresno State in 2014 and will soon complete her Master’s of Arts in Multi-Lingual/Multi-Cultural Education in May of this year. She was an intern with the United States Department of Agriculture as well as serving as a Southeast Asian mentor at Fresno State. Simara was selected for a the national Leadership and Advocacy Training by the Southeast Asian Resource Action Center (SEARAC) which selects standout Southeast Asian leaders from throughout the country each year. She has been married for six year and has two wonderful sons (Carson, 6, and Peyton, 5).
We are so excited to have her join the FIRM team! Simara is a great example of the caliber of staff we continue to recruit to serve the local refugee community. We have no doubt that she is already a great asset to the community and that she has big things ahead of her!