As Vice President of IU student organization Seeking Refuge, sophomore Abbey Krulik spends her spare time volunteering and raising money for refugees and researching immigration in the United States for an immigration advocacy center in El Paso, Texas.
“Seeking Refuge has offered me an excellent platform to utilize my International Studies education in the real world,” she said. “it is an honor to offer our support in any way that we can, but it has also been a great opportunity to utilize and develop my research skills.”
Among the projects Abbey has worked on are raising money for local refugees, donating children’s books to schools in Kenya, and starting Room at the Table, a program that gives students and families near IU the opportunity to welcome refugees to Bloomington through a meal together. Abbey helped Seeking Refuge raise more than $2000 in one night to pay for a family’s residency application.
“Being able to devote some of our time and resources to a project that greatly benefited a family in need was incredibly rewarding,” she said. “The most rewarding part of my Seeking Refuge experience has been observing how our efforts have made positive impacts in others’ lives.”
As someone who wants to work in U.S. foreign policy concerning the Middle East, Seeking Refuge has reminded Abbey of the importance of protecting and promoting human rights around the world.
“Seeking Refuge has shown me first hand the difference that altruism can make, and I hope to apply the same sentiment to my future career – politics could use a little more humanity,” she said.
One of the most valuable lessons Abbey learned from her time in Seeking Refuge is that anyone can lend a helping hand towards an issue they’re passionate about — even in the middle of Indiana.
“There is a way to make a positive difference no matter where you are,” Abbey said.
Abbey works hard to accomplish Seeking Refuge’s goal “to educate others on the global refugee and displacement crises, to participate in aid and assimilation efforts for refugees on both a local and global scale, and to increase overall awareness and involvement around campus.” Abbey wants students to know that if they are interested in completing this mission too, they have a place in Seeking Refuge.