RPCS Senior Skylar Spore (right) with Kelitah Armstrong of the International Rescue Committee (left)

Senior Skylar Spore came to Roland Park Country School in the ninth grade eager to learn the Arabic language, one of a seven foreign languages offered in the RPCS, BMS and Gilman tri-school community. In the tenth grade, on a school trip to Morocco, she decided she wanted to become a teacher and quickly became interested in helping refugees. Through the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in Baltimore, Skylar was placed with a refugee family of five (two adults and three children) from Syria whom she has been working closely with throughout this school year. Skylar has dedicated time to teaching the family English and helping them navigate their life in a new country. From trips to the grocery store and DMV, to dinner with friends and visits to the National Aquarium and Inner Harbor, Skylar has shown tremendous commitment and support to the refugee family.

As Skylar’s mother, Deb Johnston, describes, she “never could have imagined four years ago that by starting at RPCS, taking Arabic, it would lead Skylar to teaching English to Syrian refugees at the age of 17.”

For Skylar, it has been a valuable and rewarding experience to invest in these cross-cultural friendships: “The more interactions you have with people of other cultures, the more you may find the beauty and worth in value that contrasts with your own.”

Skylar was formally recognized for her dedication to supporting the Maryland refugee community with a Certificate of Special Recognition from US Senator Ben Cardin, which she received earlier this year.

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