International Service Center

International Service Center To promote, support and implement educational, cultural, social, and economic programs to serve the disadvantaged and underprivileged people.
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501(c)(3) social service agency

Mission: 1) To promote, support and implement educational, cultural, social, and economic programs to serve the disadvantaged and underprivileged people, to enable them to become self supporting and productive members of our pluralistic society. 2) To foster the spirit of mutual understanding and mutual assistance among people of different cultural and language backgrounds.

Operating as usual

Last summer, thanks to a group of wonderful Good Samaritans from U-Penn School of Medicine in Philadelphia, our Program ...
03/28/2020

Last summer, thanks to a group of wonderful Good Samaritans from U-Penn School of Medicine in Philadelphia, our Program Assistant, Sailey Sey, was able to bring back much needed medical supplies to her hometown of Basse in Gambia. Sailey delivered the donated medical supplies, which include Dry Suction Chest Drain, Lubricating Jelly, Urethral Stent Set and other general hygiene items, to the Basse Community Health Center. The impoverished inhabitants who are living in over 100 deprived villages surrounding this unique community health center are the fortunate beneficiaries of this remarkable generosity from U-Penn School of Medicine's donors.

ISC's Annual International Thanksgiving Luncheon
12/02/2019

ISC's Annual International Thanksgiving Luncheon

In partnership with the Pennsylvania Immigration Resource Center (PIRC), the ISC organized an Immigration Legal Clinic o...
11/13/2019

In partnership with the Pennsylvania Immigration Resource Center (PIRC), the ISC organized an Immigration Legal Clinic on Saturday, November 9, 2019. PIRC staff consisting of Allison Little Sun, Ryan Brunsink, Ben Hooper, Fernanda Hernandez, Kate Bertino, Jazmin Hernandez, Larla Rios Orengo, Nadia Leon, and Yudelkys Rodriguez De Vargas provided legal information and resources to a total of 21 clients. The needy clients came from various countries such as Ecuador (4), Dominican Republic (3), Niger (2), Nigeria (2), Cameroon (1), Eritrea, Ethiopia (1), Guatemala (1), Honduras (1), Italy (1), Jordan (1), Mauritania (1), Mexico (1), and Morocco (1). ISC staff consisting of Phuong, Tuan, Hang, Sailey, Thanh, Lance, and Sandra helped coordinate the event by providing necessary interpretation and administrative support.

ISC's Basic Interpretation Training Date:  Friday, September 27  , 2019  Location:  International Service Center (Fellow...
10/07/2019

ISC's Basic Interpretation Training
Date: Friday, September 27 , 2019
Location: International Service Center (Fellowship Hall)
21 South River Street
Harrisburg, PA 17101

Trainers: Phuong Truong, Executive Director
Tuan Bui, Program Manager
Hang La, Language Bank Coordinator

Trainees: Basudev Adikhari (Nepali, Hindi)
Fatin Alashoor (Arabic)
Francais F. Mabeka (French, Lingala, Kikongo)
Keltoum Oukaza (Arabic)
Maheza Arif Al-Ashoor (Arabic)
Sailey Sey (Fulani, Mandika, Wolof)
Tika Ram Subedi (Nepali)
Victor Hugo (Spanish)
Yailin Perez Vega (Spanish)
Zyena Marie Flores (Spanish)

Cynthia Lopez (Language Bank Support)
Lance Burgess (Language Bank Support)
Lisa Daniels (Language Bank Support)
Ronald Murphy (Language Bank Support)

Volunteers Recognition Luncheon Location:   International Service Center (Knox Room)  21 South River Street, Harrisburg,...
09/03/2019

Volunteers Recognition Luncheon

Location: International Service Center (Knox Room)
21 South River Street, Harrisburg, PA 17101
Date: August 30, 2019
In an intimate ceremony organized on Friday, August 30, 2019, Phuong gratefully presented Certificates of Appreciation to the following partners in mission for their valuable volunteer services to the ISC.

Honorees: Mrs. Maria Adelaide Mendy
Gambia (West Africa)
Mrs. Esther Bebey
Cameroon (Central Africa)
Mrs. Alice Chatiza Coles
Zimbabwe (Southern Africa)

“First Inner-School TaeKwonDo Championship”Organized by Himalayan TaeKwonDo Academy  - Mr. Nakul Sharma, Dojang Chief, H...
08/26/2019

“First Inner-School TaeKwonDo Championship”

Organized by Himalayan TaeKwonDo Academy

- Mr. Nakul Sharma, Dojang Chief, Himalayan Taekowndo
- Mr. Tika Dhungana, CEO/President/Owner, Our Home Care, LLC

Location: 6360 Flank Drive
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17112

Date: Saturday, August 17, 2019

Approximately 100 young students of the Himalayan TaeKwonDo Academy of Harrisburg enthusiastically participated in the first Inner-School TaeKwonDo championship under the approving eyes of their parents. The goal of this championship is to encourage, motivate, and develop the confidence of the young students for strengthening their winning strategy.

Language Bank's Interpreters TrainingLocation:   International Service Center (Fellowship Hall) 21 South River Street, H...
07/31/2019

Language Bank's Interpreters Training
Location: International Service Center (Fellowship Hall)
21 South River Street, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17101

Date: July 26, 2019

Trainers: Truong N. Phuong, Executive Director
Tuan Bui, Program Manager
Hang La, Language Bank Coordinator

We would like to welcome our newest Partners in Mission:

Interpreters: Mrs. Alice Chatiza Coles (Shona, Swahili)
Mrs. Anh Yen Dao (Vietnamese)
Mrs. Estrella Gonzalez (Spanish)
Mr. Mahmoud Hakim (Arabic)
Mr. Ali Hassan (Afar, Amharic, Arabic, Tigrinya)
Mr. Dipak Khanal (Nepali, Hindi)
Mrs. Sharaswati Khanal (Nepali)
Mr. Tejkumar Patel (Gujarati, Hindi)
Ms. Angelica Pedraza (Spanish)
Mr. Duane Shearer (Spanish)
Mrs. Anne Tank (Gujarati, Hindi)
Mrs. Bina Vashi (Gujarati, Hindi, Sanskrit)
Mr. Kim Yeoun (Cambodian)

The ISC hosted a Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training event for refugee service providers on Friday, June 7, 2019.  T...
06/11/2019

The ISC hosted a Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training event for refugee service providers on Friday, June 7, 2019. This special training event was made possible through a collaborative effort of the Refugee Health and Unaccompanied Refugee Minor Program, the PA Refugee Resettlement Program (PA-RRP) and the Federal Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). Participants consisted mainly of representatives of different offices of the PA Department of Human Services. Sailey and Cynthia attended the training event on behalf of the ISC staff.

This 8-hour interactive course covers all the basic elements surrounding mental health issues such as Types of Mood Disorders, U.S. Adults With an Anxiety Disorder, What is Psychosis, Types of Disorders in Which Psychosis May Occur, Characteristics of Schizophrenia, Impact of Early Intervention, and How to Help.

The training was adeptly conducted by recognized professionals, including:

- Ms. Lisa Basci, MA, LPC, Director of Peer Support and Mental Health First Aid.

- Mr. Parangkush Subedi, Health Program Analyst, Office of Refugee Resettlement, USDHHS.

- Mr. Madap Sharma, MA, M.Phil; Community Resource Developer, URMP, Bethany Christian Services of Greater Delaware Valley.

- Ms. Susan Miller, MSW, Refugee Health and Unaccompanied Refugee Minor Program, Office of Income Mmaintenance, Bureau of Policy, PA Department of Human Services.

Over 30 partners in mission spent a splendid Friday morning at the ISC on May 31st listening to Dr. Juliette Tolay's tal...
06/03/2019

Over 30 partners in mission spent a splendid Friday morning at the ISC on May 31st listening to Dr. Juliette Tolay's talk about "The U.S evolving role in global refugee policies and resettlement". An assistant professor of Political Science at the School of Public Affairs at Harrisburg Penn State University, Dr. Tolay is also a well-known researcher on asylum, migration and foreign policies, as well as public attitudes in Europe, Turkey, and the Middle East. In front of a captive audience, consisting mostly of refugee education, health, social, and community service providers, the speaker discussed about the Trump administration’s turn toward a more restrictive refugee policy by comparing how the US has fared with other countries in the globe since the end of World War II. The event which concluded with a special reception in honor of the speaker was artfully moderated by Tuan. On behalf of the ISC, Phuong presented a Certificate of Appreciation to Dr. Tolay for her highly informative and inspiring message.

In an effort to network with state government agencies and other Asian community organizations, Phuong, Sailey, Thanh, a...
05/29/2019

In an effort to network with state government agencies and other Asian community organizations, Phuong, Sailey, Thanh, and Sanh had set up a striking ISC exhibit booth at the Pacific American Heritage Celebration in front of the Harrisburg Capitol on Wednesday, May 29, 2019. The event was a great opportunity for the ISC to promote its worthwhile mission, in particular, its Language Bank, Immigration Guidance, and Refugee Support Services.

Tuan, Hang, and Nga wonderfully represented the ISC at the Family Night for families of English Learners in Central Daup...
05/28/2019

Tuan, Hang, and Nga wonderfully represented the ISC at the Family Night for families of English Learners in Central Dauphin organized by the Central Dauphin School District on May 23, 2019. This special event offered various student activities emphasizing the wealth of diversity the district brings. The parents and students were able to travel around seven informational booths to learn more about the supportive services those community organizations are making available to them. The ISC booth was well-visited throughout the evening.

Cheers to Ronald, Cindy, and Sandra for proudly representing the ISC at the 2019 PA Community Alliance Summit, with the ...
05/23/2019

Cheers to Ronald, Cindy, and Sandra for proudly representing the ISC at the 2019 PA Community Alliance Summit, with the efficient support of Sailey as the official photographer. This year is the 5th annual PA Community Alliance Summit being organized on May 21 & 22, 2019 at the Harrisburg Hilton Hotel around the theme of: Teaming-Releasing the Transforming Power of Coalition Building, under the coordination of the National Coalition Building Institute and the Pennsylvania Developmental Disabilities Council.

The Summit was a day of networking, discovering alliances and coalition building among diverse organizations throughout Pennsylvania led by and/or supporting underserved/unserved populations who experience marginalization and oppression.

In collaboration with the Pennsylvania Immigration Resource Center(PIRC), the ISC organized an intensive Legal Immigrati...
05/20/2019

In collaboration with the Pennsylvania Immigration Resource Center(PIRC), the ISC organized an intensive Legal Immigration Clinic from 9:00am to 3:00pm on Saturday May 18, 2019 to provide customized assistance to needy clients. A total of 41 refugees and immigrants were served by a team of four attorneys (Allison Little Sun, Andani Alcantara Diaz, Ben Hooper, Kate Bertino) and three volunteers (Fernanda Hernandez, Sarah Martin-Torres, Sarah Riendeau) from PIRC. Jeers to the dedicated ISC's Pennsylvania Is Ready Team consisting of Tuan, Hang, Sailey, Lance, Sandra, Thanh, Sanh, and Juan who had sacrificed a beautiful weekend to help organize such a wonderful event. The 41 beneficiaries of this Legal Immigration Clinic came from many part of our world, including Bhutan, Brazil, Cambodia, China, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, Germany, Guatemala, Haiti, Jordan, Mexico, Morocco, Panama, Philippines, Spain, Uganda, and Venezuela.

Interpreters TrainingLocation:        International Service Center (Fellowship Hall) 21 South River Street, Harrisburg, ...
05/13/2019

Interpreters Training

Location: International Service Center (Fellowship Hall)
21 South River Street, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17102

Date: May 10, 2019

Trainers: Truong N. Phuong, Executive Director

Tuan Bui, Program Manager

Hang La, Language Bank Coordinator



We would like to welcome our newest Partners in Mission:



Interpreters: Ms. Lily Chang (Chinese, Taiwanese)

Mr. Krishna Kharel (Nepali)

Mr. Joliah Lucien (Creole, French)

Mr. Yusuf Ahmed Mohamed (Somali)

Mr. Tara Rizal (Hindi, Nepali)

Ms. Andrea Roa (Spanish)

Mr. Ahmed Soweilam (Arabic)

Ms. Yajaidis Tejada (Spanish)

On Friday May 10, 2019, we bid farewell to Sarah L. Phillippe with our traditional Pizza Lunch.  Sarah, a student at the...
05/13/2019

On Friday May 10, 2019, we bid farewell to Sarah L. Phillippe with our traditional Pizza Lunch. Sarah, a student at the Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC) had completed 250 hours of Human Service Practicum at the ISC for the past three months under the supervision of Hang La, our Language Bank Coordinator. In that capacity, Sarah has assisted Hang in the daily operation of the Language Bank to secure needed interpretation services for the Limited English Proficient clients of all ethnic backgrounds and national origins. With minimum supervision, she competently completed the following tasks: a) making and taking phone calls, receiving and sending emails; b) responding appropriately to requests for interpretation from various sources by securing competent interpreters for all assignments; c) maintaining expeditious and accurate data entry; d) making sure that the scheduled interpretation assignments took place, etc. Furthermore, she enthusiastically participated in many ISC's training sessions and other special events to serve the disadvantaged and underprivileged people in our community. Sarah's dedication and bright smile will be sorely missed.

Take a look at the pictures of the Career Orientation "My American Journey" held at the ISC on May 3rd.
05/06/2019

Take a look at the pictures of the Career Orientation "My American Journey" held at the ISC on May 3rd.

Way Back Wednesday!Back then in 1976, when the International Service Center was first established, it was known as the I...
04/17/2019

Way Back Wednesday!

Back then in 1976, when the International Service Center was first established, it was known as the Indochinese Service Center, and was actively involved in the resettlement of Indochinese refugees at the end of the Vietnam War. After the Refugee Act of 1980 was enacted by Congress, the Indochinese Service Center, which has matured into a multicultural social service agency serving all disadvantaged refugees regardless of their national origin, changed its name to the International Service Center (ISC) to reflect the full extent of its inclusive mission. Since then, thanks to the dedication of its staff and volunteers, the ISC has been benefitting of an increasingly broader base of support from the public and private sector, at the local and national level.

This ISC's Way Back Wednesday is to remind ourselves of some of those dedicated staff and volunteers who have contributed so much of their time, energy, and talents to the continuing growth of the ISC for the past four decades. This page is dedicated to Ho Tan Minh Son, affectionately nicknamed Tino.

From the day he came to America from a refugee camp in Thailand with his uncle and cousins in 1982, Tino has been volunteering at the ISC every day after school. During those early years, the ISC was extremely busy assisting countless Vietnamese boatpeople in starting a new life in the United States. Tino proved himself to be an exceptionally resourceful assistant to the Director. From 1982 to 1988, Tino has been instrumental in the successful implementation of many vital ISC's programs and activities, including:

1) Helping renovate the Welcoming Center which provides temporary shelter for newly-arriving refugees.

2) Helping coordinate the ISC's Food Booth at community events to generate supplemental revenues for our Refugee Resettlement Program.

3) Helping the ISC's Food Team in preparing, cooking, and coaching other volunteers on how to prepare Vietnamese food.

4) Assisting the Director in producing the Spirit of Vietnam, a Vietnamese language radio program, broadcasted four times a week.

5) Assisting the Director in typing official correspondences and processing competitive proposals from an antiquated Apple II-C computer.

6) A real "Jack of all trades" that the Providence has led the way to our ISC, at the time when he was most needed.

Tino is currently the Senior Software Engineer, at Leidos Inc., and Leader of the Software Development Team for the IRS - ESAM (External Services Authorization Management Project). He is also lucky to be working most of the time at home, from his living room.

At the invitation of Mr. Tika Ram Dhungana, President of the Shree Vaishnav Parishad Harrisburg, a Bhutanese nonprofit r...
04/09/2019

At the invitation of Mr. Tika Ram Dhungana, President of the Shree Vaishnav Parishad Harrisburg, a Bhutanese nonprofit religious organization, Phuong and other local dignitaries attended the inauguration ceremony of the Laxmi Narayan Temple in Harrisburg on Friday, April 5, 2019.

After resetting in the Capital area for nearly a decade, the former refugees from Bhutan are so proud and happy for having contributed to the purchase of their own place of worship in Harrisburg.

The inauguration event was performed on the occasion of Lord Ram coming to Earth. This celebration is observed for nine days, from April 5th to April 13th, and is called “Ram Navami.” There were five senior priests, coming from various parts of the U.S. as well as the world for the inauguration ceremony. Approximately 500 devotees were expected to attend each day.

From time to time, our Food Pantry received some unexpected assistance from our former clients.  One of those instances ...
04/09/2019

From time to time, our Food Pantry received some unexpected assistance from our former clients. One of those instances recently came from Mr. Mohammad Shahid, a Pakistani immigrant, who donated boxes of condiments, cookies, corn chips, and a variety of sodas. Those additional food provisions have been benefitted by many needy long-term residents in our community

Like in previous years, Kim, Thu, Huong, and Sailey from the Women's Group of the International Service Center (ISC), af...
04/04/2019

Like in previous years, Kim, Thu, Huong, and Sailey from the Women's Group of the International Service Center (ISC), affectionately prepared the traditional Appreciation Lunch for the volunteers of Money In Your Pocket Project on Tuesday April 2 in the kitchen of the Market Square Presbyterian Church.

Money In Your Pocket VITA Program (MIYP) campaign is a community collaboration of organizations led by United Way of the Capital Region that is committed to the economic stability of local families. Volunteers prepare computerized, electronic returns through the Internal Revenue Service’s Volunteer Tax Income Assistance (VITA) program, which is designed to provide low- to moderate-income working families with help completing federal and state returns, and obtaining credits for which they are eligible. Individuals and families who make $55,000 or less are eligible to have their taxes prepared for free by trained volunteers.

From start to finish, volunteers help prepare and file state and federal taxes for free at one of 15 sites throughout Cumberland, Dauphin and Perry counties. Market Square Presbyterian Church, which housed and nurtured the ISC since its inception in 1976, is one of those 15 sites."

Address

21 S River St
Harrisburg, PA
17101

Opening Hours

Monday 08:30 - 17:00
Tuesday 08:30 - 17:00
Wednesday 08:30 - 17:00
Thursday 08:30 - 17:00
Friday 08:30 - 17:00

Telephone

(717) 236-9401

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To promote, support and implement educational, cultural, social, and economic programs to serve the disadvantaged people.

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