Tarriers are Stewards: Ian P. ’24

Charles Wright Academy 10th grader combined his passion for dentistry and helping others by founding a nonprofit organization.

by Ian P. ’24

My name is Ian P., and I am a sophomore at Charles Wright Academy. I am a first-generation American. My dad Philippe moved to the United States from France when he was 17, fell in love with this country and made it his home. My Lebanese mom, Loubna, fell in love with my dad and followed his footsteps to become an American citizen. Throughout their journey, their hard work combined with the support from people contributed tremendously to their success today. Our parents taught me and my two brothers, Alec and Lance (3rd and 5th grade at CWA), from a young age the importance of giving back, and that is why we volunteer together and experience the pleasure of giving. We mainly volunteer with World Relief Seattle (WRS), a global humanitarian organization whose mission is to serve the most vulnerable. World Relief’s work in the United States, specifically, focuses on helping refugees and others to rebuild their lives in a new country. 

I wanted to combine my passion for dentistry and helping others, so I decided to start a nonprofit organization. That is how “Refugees Relief of Tacoma and Beyond” came to light. The mission of my non-profit organization is to provide refugees with oral health education and awareness, treat manageable oral hygiene problems, and short-term emergency care with local volunteer dentists. Our team consists of local volunteer dental specialists, community volunteers, and partnerships with other local non-profit organizations like WRS. Our passion for integrating refugees into our society and community makes our team so unique. I started with one Endodontist (my mom) on my team to now have five Endodontists, five Periodontists, and five Oral Surgeons on call waiting to help alleviate any pain for a refugee patient in need. World Relief Seattle provides me with any needed information about a patient, and I contact my team to find an appointment as soon as possible.

My goal is to grow my organization to be at the national level. A lot of work is ahead of me and slowly but surely, I believe I can get there with perseverance and hard work.

Our greatness is not what we have, it is what we give. I encourage everyone to experience the pleasure of giving. Last year at school I started Refugees Relief Club where we collected school supplies throughout all three divisions and donated all the materials to the Tacoma Community House to be distributed to school kids in need. We have ambitious goals for this year, as well. I hope Tarriers will stay tuned and please consider joining my club.

Ian P. '24 with CWA volunteers.
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