CYAF Alum Serves Refugees in Lincoln
03 Mar 2022
Pimpicha (Pim) Tubsuwan graduated in December 2020 with her master’s degree in Child, Youth and Family Studies with a specialization in Human and Family Services Administration. Now, she serves as Refugee Resettlement Director at Catholic Social Services in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Currently, much of her work centers around helping Afghan refugees resettle in the Lincoln community. The most rewarding part about her work is “making a visible impact in your client’s life,” she says, “I developed new strategies to assist them while helping them become more self-sufficient.” For example, she gets to see immigrant children begin to speak English and adults get jobs within their first 90 days of being here.
Despite the impact being made, there are still many obstacles and challenges refugees face upon arrival. Most resettlement agencies, such as Catholic Social Services, can only provide core services to refugees for up to 90 days.
“After those 90 days, it’s unrealistic to expect someone to get everything in life all together when they don’t know the language and they have to get a job,” Tubsuwan explained.
Identifying this as a need within the refugee community, Tubsuwan decided to create her own nonprofit, the Metta Refugee Advocacy Center. Metta in Thai means “a good will toward others; an active interest wishing other people well.” The goal of the nonprofit is to help refugees with extensive services, as there is a need for additional services outside of the 90-day window.
While the nonprofit is just getting started, Tubsuwan hopes it will help refugees learn to navigate their new host country better and provide additional support that resettlement agencies don’t have the capacity to provide. This could include support services such as learning the language, searching for jobs, and navigating immigration and state services, among others.
From leadership skills to case management, Tubsuwan applies much of what she learned throughout her master’s program to her current field. “Professors in the program always emphasized that we need to have a good understanding of the population we serve,” Tubsuwan said, “It’s impossible to think about these families without appreciating the link of their emotions and experiences from the migration.” This population faces mental health issues, such as stress and anxiety, due to navigating a new culture, financial stress, and worrying about family members who may have been left behind.
Tubsuwan’s work with Catholic Social Services has impacted the lives of many refugees settling in Lincoln. Tubsuwan’s clients always show her gratitude and appreciate the work, even if they can not yet speak the language.
To get involved with Lincoln’s refugee community you can volunteer at or donate to Lincoln Literacy, Asian Community and Cultural Center, Center for Legal Immigration Assistance (CLIA), and ECHO Collective.
Child, Youth and Family Studies