The International Rescue Committee (IRC) provides opportunities for refugees to thrive in America. Each year, thousands of refugees are invited by the U.S. government to seek safety and freedom.  Forced to flee conflict or persecution, many have survived for years against incredible odds. They step off the plane with next to nothing but their dignity, hope and determination.  In Charlottesville, the IRC helps them rebuild their lives. On November 17, 2007 Susan Donovan, the IRC’s Executive Director, and her colleague, Miran Dickey, accepted the $19,300 Women United grant and discussed how the grant will benefit refugee high school students in our area. Susan noted that not only do teenage refugees have to learn English as a second language, but they also must figure out how to fit into a social and cultural world that is often very different from their own. With this grant, the students will have access to support and counseling as they transition into their new life in Charlottesville.