Amy Shackelford, MSW, MPH
Client Services Director
Amy Shackelford is passionate about helping refugees and immigrants. Her role as the Client Services Director at the Immigrant Welcome Center allows her to develop programming to not only assist immigrants in our city, but to also encourage more awareness and inclusion within our community. She also believes in a healthy and progressive work environment for her staff and has established several staff wellness programs to empower and promote advancement and knowledge of the members of her team.
Amy’s drive to help immigrants and refugees grew during three years of employment in Cape Town, South Africa. The experience exposed her to unique perspectives and ideas, which she is now successfully implementing into strategies for IWC.
When she isn’t working, Amy enjoys teaching classes at the university, doing yoga and cooking vegan dishes, and exploring Indianapolis on her bicycle.
Client Integration Coordinator
Graham Melendez is inspired by powerful motivation to make life better for immigrants in Indianapolis. As the Client Integration Coordinator, his priorities include building relationships with community partners. These partners then become resources for immigrants – resources to better navigate a smooth transition into their Indianapolis communities. When Graham decided to become a Natural Helper volunteer for IWC in 2017, he did so in order to help people. In turn, this experience provided him the skills needed for him to step into his permanent role at the center.
Graham moved to the United States from Peru when he was eight-years-old. His experience has promoted an acute awareness of the unique journey and circumstances for immigrant children, and he notes that there is an admirable resiliency to immigrant children.
Graham takes breaks from work by doing what his family has always done for celebrations and as a way to express themselves – he goes dancing. Whether it’s country-line dancing or salsa dancing, he says it’s rare to see someone unhappy while taking part. Graham’s motivation stems from seeing people happy – both inside and out of the Immigrant Welcome Center.
Marketing & Naturalization Coordinator
Nonprofit employees typically wear many hats and Jackie Rodriguez is no exception. She is the Immigrant Welcome Center’s Naturalization and Marketing Coordinator. Not only does she prepare and execute the quarterly naturalization clinics, which help guide immigrants through the lengthy and intimidating naturalization process, but she also handles the daily marketing tasks for the organization. Jackie works behind-the-scenes, creating content and material for social marketing, print material for events, and even filling in on the occasional radio interview.
The daughter of immigrant parents, Jackie has witnessed first-hand the challenges that exist for newcomers to the United States. Watching her parents navigate immigration obstacles inspired Jackie to apply specifically for her role at IWC – giving her a chance to give back to her community by helping to empower and uplift other immigrants in search of the American dream.
When she’s not working toward making the IWC goals a reality, Jackie enjoys spending time with her friends and family, and she is currently working to complete her bachelor’s degree in marketing.
When a client calls the Immigrant Welcome Center, the first person they speak to will be Adejoke Awolusi. As the center’s Administrative Assistant, Adejoke serves as the initial point of contact and provides referrals and resources to clients. She also helps facilitate the Cultural Humility Workshops and helps the center’s Department of Justice representative with her appointments and paperwork. Adejoke stays busy each day but she wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s important to her to serve as someone who immigrants can relate to – someone who has been through the process herself.
When Adejoke first moved to the United States from Nigeria, finding the information she needed was challenging. A few years ago, she decided to apply to become a Natural Helper for the Immigrant Welcome Center. As a volunteer, she began her journey in connecting with and supporting other immigrants.
With her fun-loving, playful nature, Adejoke is a friendly face for immigrants to find when they visit the center. When she’s not working, she stays busy with her kids and enjoys relaxing with a good Netflix drama series.