The ‘Beautiful Game,’ Pomegranate Molasses, and Why There’s Hope for America
A conversation with soccer coach and educator Luma Mufleh, the trailblazing founder of Fugees Academy schools for refugees and a Top 10 CNN Hero.
By Michael Judge
When I left mainstream journalism to launch The First Person, I knew the first person I wanted to have a conversation with was Luma Mufleh, the 42-year-old founder and CEO of Fugees Family, Inc., the nation’s only school network dedicated to educating and empowering child survivors of war. That might sound like a terribly small market. Sadly, it’s not. According to the National Education Association, by 2025, one out of four children in U.S. classrooms will be English language learners, many coming from refugee and immigrant backgrounds.
Like many Americans, I was first introduced to Mufleh after she was named a 2016 Top 10 CNN Hero and gave a refreshingly honest and moving Ted Talk in 2017 titled “Don’t feel sorry for refugees—believe in them.” In just 14 minutes, she explained how more than 65 million people around the world at that time had been forcibly displaced from their homes because of w…
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