• About Us

    Welcome! The Yale Refugee Project is an organization of undergraduate students passionately devoted to aiding refugees, immigrants, and other forced migrants. At its core, that means supporting resettled populations living in Greater New Haven. The city alone typically receives over 200 new refugees for resettlement each year, but in the wake of the Syrian refugee crisis, resettled over 500 refugees—more than New York or Los Angeles.

    The challenges of resettlement are numerous, and vary from family to family. For years, YRP volunteers have been responding to issues of social isolation and have helped provide new refugees with critical support—whether that be as simple as tutoring English or as extraordinary as founding a food start-up to bolster one family's income. In partnership with Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services (IRIS), the local resettlement agency, we are constantly searching for ways to better serve our local refugee population.
    In addition to working with refugees, in recent years YRP has expanded its efforts to include immigrants and other migrant groups. Although these populations may not legally classify as refugees, we believe that the terms “refugee,” “immigrant,” and “asylum seeker” lack clear delineation and should not be seen as monoliths. Through our efforts as an organization, we hope to redefine Yale’s relationship with migrancy and provide an example for how other undergraduates might engage with their own migrant communities.


  • What We Do

    A brief overview of our on-going projects.

    Youth Groups

    Forging long-term friendships between Yale students and New Haven refugees through weekly support groups, frequent outings, sports games, dance classes, and more.

    For more information, contact Michelle Phan at michelle.phan@yale.edu.


    Bringing delicious treats made by refugees in our New Haven community to you — in Yale butteries and beyond.

    For more information, visit havenlytreats.com.

    Employment Team

    Helping refugees find stable employment and long-term income.

    For more information, contact Miho Carey at miho.carey@yale.edu.

    Immigration Group

    Working to protect marginalized communities in spite of the current administration.

    For more information, contact Laura Plata at laura.plata@yale.edu.

    Events Team

    Keeping campus conversations critical, informed, and ongoing.

    For more information, contact Morgan Hanna Ghattas at morgan.hannaghattas@yale.edu.

  • Who We Are

    Executive Board, 2018-2019

    Miho Carey


    Miho was enthralled with YRP in her first week at Yale after speaking to her Arabic TA, the president at the time. As co-president, she hopes to further integrate YRP into the New Haven community, working with local community organizers and supporting ongoing projects with IRIS, helping to secure New Haven's place as a sanctuary city for all. Outside of YRP, she runs an Asian American oral history project called Negative Space and hosts a weekly radio show as her alter ego DJ Hapa Homie. Miho hails from Atlanta, Georgia and is majoring in Ethnicity, Race, and Migration with Arabic language. You can always reach her at miho.carey@yale.edu.

    Lizzie Dolan


    Lizzie fell in love with YRP in the winter of her freshman year and hasn't looked back. Now as a junior, she will be focusing her energy on turning YRP into a cohesive unit of change on Yale's campus and of course keeping up with all of her girls from the refugee women's youth group. Outside of YRP, Lizzie is on the WORD slam poetry team, is obsessed with her college (yay TD), and enjoys being a part of the Camp Kesem community as well. She majoring in Ethics, Politics, and Economics with a concentration on Southeast Asian Studies. You can reach her at elizabeth.dolan@yale.edu.

    Morgan Hanna Ghattas

    Advocacy Director

    Morgan is a junior from Tampa, Florida and is studying Political Science with a focus on the Middle East. After talking to her TA about ways to be involved in human rights advocacy on campus, she was introduced to YRP and is excited to work on new campus initiatives. Outside of YRP, Morgan has loved being a part of the Yale Students for Christ community and finding a Coptic Orthodox community as well, reaching out to prospective students as a Recruitment Coordinator at the Office of Admissions, and is working as a teaching assistant in the Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations Department. You can reach her at morgan.hannaghattas@yale.edu.

    Mauro Aceves-Acosta



    Mauro is a junior from Branford, Connecticut majoring in Chemical Engineering. Outside of YRP, he is part of Yale Model Congress, an organization that hosts an annual conference where high school students debate self-written legislation. In his free time, he likes to cook, play piano and drive go-karts. You can reach him at mauro.aceves-acosta@yale.edu.

    Caterina Passoni

    Havenly Co-Founder

    Caterina is from Trieste, a small city in the North Eastern part of Italy. She majored in Ethics, Politics and Economics and Modern Middle Eastern Studies, with a particular focus on refugee policy, inter-religious issues and human rights, and graduated in May. She is particularly passionate about advocating for Arab and Middle Eastern refugees in Europe and the United States. In her free time, she does ballet and ballroom dancing. You can reach her at caterina.passoni@yale.edu.

    Zahra Chaudhry

    Women's Group Co-Director

    Zahra is a sophomore from Milford, CT. She first got involved with New Haven’s refugee community by working with Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services (IRIS) in high school, and she’s thrilled to be building on that relationship in college. Zahra is studying History, tentatively with a regional focus on the Middle East and North Africa. Outside of YRP, she writes for The Politic, enjoys engaging with the different cultural centers on campus, and has a real passion for studying languages. You can reach her at zahra.chaudhry@yale.edu.

    Khenzom Alling

    Women's Group Co-Director

    Khenzom Alling is a sophomore Ethnicity, Race, and Migration major from Manila, Philippines with Tibetan-American heritage. On YRP, Khenzom co-leads the Women’s Youth Leadership Program – a weekly program that brings together refugee youth to form community and help foster leadership and life skills. Outside of YRP, she is the sustainability liaison for Grace Hopper college, and her other passions include human rights and art.You can reach her at khenzom.alling@yale.edu.



    Amina Mabizari

    College and Career Readiness Program


    Bio: Amina Mabizari is a rising junior majoring in Political Science and Modern Middle Eastern Studies. This year she will be serving as director of the College and Career Readiness Program where she provides academic and professional support to student refugees and asylees at the high school and college level. Outside of the Yale Refugee Project, her general interests include human rights, international relations and film. You can reach her at amina.mabizari@yale.edu

    Abdullah Budeir

    College and Career Readiness Program


    Abdullah Budeir is a senior studying Ethics, Politics and Economics at Yale. He serves as co-director of the College and Career Readiness Program where he provides academic and professional support to student refugees and asylees at the high school and college level. Outside of the Yale Refugee Project, his interests include entrepreneurship, education, and Islam. You can reach him at abdullah.budeir@yale.edu.



    Tyler Janson

    Immigration Group Co-Director

    Tyler is a junior originally from Telluride, Colorado double majoring in Ethnicity, Race & Migration and Political Science. As co-director of the Immigration Group, Tyler helps to coordinate and provide translation, interpretation, legal research, and general support to undocumented people in the New Haven area facing deportation. Outside of YRP, Tyler works as a legal intern at the immigration law firm Formica Doyle PC in New Haven, and is head of marketing for AIESEC Yale. Having grown up in rural Colorado, Tyler is an avid skier and loves the outdoors, and he loves to draw and paint in his free time. You can reach him at tyler.jansen@yale.edu

    Peter Steinmann

    Youth Leadership Program's Men's Group Director

    Peter Steinmann is a sophomore in Yale College looking to double-major in History and Ethnicity, Race, and Migration. Born and raised in Stuttgart, Germany, and having moved to the United States at the age of nine, Peter takes great interest in transnational migration and its effects on people and the world. He is the student leader of the Youth Leadership Program's Men's Group, a youth group serving refugees and asylees between the ages of fourteen and twenty-three living in New Haven. You can reach him at peter.steinmann@yale.edu.



  • Resources

    A few sources that we recommend to help you learn more.

    IRIS is New Haven's largest refugee resettlement agency and YRP's closest partner. In 2016, they welcomed 475 refugees from a variety of countries, including Sudan, The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria. Their needs are significant and IRIS is their primary resource as they begin to rebuild their lives after years of persecution and displacement. IRIS helps refugees on the road to self-sufficiency by providing lifesaving support during their transition to life in the United States.

    News about Refugees and Displaced People, including commentary and archival articles, published in The New York Times.

    A summary of deportation procedures, created by Harper Loonsk, YRP Co-President (2016-2017), and Lauren Cueto. This is a great place to start if you want to learn more about the lived experiences of deported individuals and the often arbitrary methods that Immigration and Customs Enforcement employs.

    The Refugee Project is a narrative, temporal map of refugee migrations since 1975. It uses UN data to visualize refugee volumes over time and added a layer of historical content to help explain the events that caused some of the largest refugee movements of the last four decades.

    This book by Peter Nyers tells us that we somehow think that those who lack a nation-state, a paramount construct of our globalized world view, are somehow lesser humans than we are. Thus we can shuffle these people around in ways that both suit our political purposes and also enhance our own self-image as humanitarians taking care of victims. This works until the victims, showing less than subservient gratitude, find their own voices and follow their own agendas. This concept is being challenged more and more, politicians as well as society are recognizing a different reality. Refugees won’t play the victim any longer.