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State Honoree

Mia Yocopis

Arizona

founded “Wings of Hope,” a youth-run volunteer organization that assists young, non-English speaking refugees with a variety of services. After befriending a young Bosnian girl, Mia learned that her friend’s family needed help understanding and completing the rigorous paperwork for state-subsidized health insurance. The family also was struggling to find jobs to make enough money to put dinner on the table. Mia spent hours helping the family fill out the appropriate papers, and soon realized that others in the community must be in need of similar assistance. That’s when Mia began to call local businesses, churches and friends for help, and “Wings of Hope” was born. “I was amazed,” said Mia. “People from all walks of life wanted to help in one way or another.” Mia researched agencies that offer appropriate services in her community so she could determine which services were not currently available. Her organization not only helps refugees with paperwork, but also teaches them interviewing skills, makes employment referrals, delivers food baskets, and helps in any way necessary. Today, 20 young volunteers are busy at work assisting 10 local refugee families, and Mia recently received a grant from the local United Way to expand “Wings of Hope.”