When many refugees resettle in the United States, they are not given all the means necessary to successfully thrive in a foreign environment. By connecting businesses and nonprofit organizations, Billie has organized the Refugee Vision Project. In conjunction with Boise State’s Project SHINE, the English Language Center, Proof Eyewear, Barbertown Eyecare, and Eagle Vision One, the first pilot program successfully helped 23 elderly students at the English Language Center regain their sight. The goal of the project was to create community around a vulnerable population to offer them free eye exams as well as prescription eyewear.
Without adequate vision they are unable to function properly in a classroom, let alone their daily lives. This barrier to independence was something that could be fixed, and so by working with other individuals and other organizations, Billie did so. Follow them on the journey through their second round of exams, and learn how you can help refugees in our community thrive, not just survive.
Billie Peacock is a fifth-generation Idahoan who grew up in Boise. She spent her childhood skiing, fishing, camping, and hiking. And spends most of my free time now writing, working, and lobbying for civil liberties. She will graduate in May from Boise State with a degree in Rhetoric and Composition and a Certification in Technical Communications. She spent the first portion of her time at Boise State as a Biology major and learned quickly that without the options to creatively express herself in her career, she couldn’t ever be happy.
Boise is the only home she has ever known, and because of that, her passion to help her community only grows deeper everyday. She believes that accepting new people into her community opens up opportunity for new and exciting growth. Everyone has something great to offer. Sometimes you just have to give them the tools and encouragement for that “great thing” to flourish.