Michelle Swearingen – RILA Program Manager

Michelle SwearingenIn 2007, my husband, Joel and I packed up our life in Columbus, Ohio and moved to Arlington, VA for graduate school.  I studied public policy at Georgetown University, focusing on International Development Policy, before taking a job at the U.S. Institute of Peace.  I enjoyed the research and policy aspect of my work, but have always longed for the opportunity to extend love and welcome to real, actual people. RILA gives me the chance to use both my policy and research background and my love for working with people, and immigrants in particular.

I’ve spent the last two years working with RILA in a volunteer capacity, watching it grow and develop.  I am so excited to join the staff of Restoration as we continue to flesh out what it looks like for our church to love and serve our immigrant neighbors.  As Program Manager for RILA, I will continue to work with clients to help them navigate the complicated U.S. immigration system, as well as work with volunteers and staff to identify ways we can use our gifts and resources to partner with God to protect the vulnerable and love the outsider.

I LOVE talking with our Resto-volunteers about their dreams and gifts and helping to match their hearts up with the right role in RILA.  If you have any interest or questions, I would love to talk with you!

Other things I love:  intentional conversation; being outside; quiet, early mornings with coffee; dance parties with my kids; and laughing with my irreverent husband whose perpetual playfulness keeps me from taking everything too seriously all the time.

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