You have been like my guardian angels, because you have been there for our family when we needed you the most, I am really really thankful for all you have done.
-Virginia, Project FINE Client
I am thankful for all the help I received from Project FINE, you made 2017 a better year for me.
-Ismael, Project FINE client
If we are looking for a successful model for community outreach, we should look to Project FINE. The staff there reach out to new community members rather than waiting until they are contacted. Whatever people need, PF staff figure out a way to help rather than saying, “oh, we don’t do that.” Finally, the staff check back in with families on a regular basis and continue to provide support and services as needed.
-Nicole Schossow, Community Relations Coordinator, Winona Health
The Minnesota Nonprofit Excellence Award is based upon broad principles and detailed practices that set the bar at a high level. Project FINE’s Board of Directors and staff have purposely aligned with the principles and practices and with other accountability standards, demonstrating overall excellence. Fatima Said, the Project FINE board, staff, volunteers, participants and community can be justifiably proud of Project FINE’s achievements, and the organization’s warm and enlightening presence in Winona and surrounding area.
-MAP for Nonprofits and Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, Nonprofit Excellence Award Co-Sponsors
It was an eye opening experience to have Project FINE and their team present information on Immigrants to our community. Hearing from those who have experienced our culture and learning how we can build a bridge to understanding their culture was very thought provoking. Simple things like shaking hands, eye contact, and gender roles when in meetings. Our time with Project FINE was worth the investment and we have made changes in how we can create a positive experience for our immigrant customers so that they can start to build trust with our people and our business.
-Kristine E. Valk, Vice President - Training Director, Merchants Bank
I wish that all clients that we represent in their immigration cases were able to receive the same kind of dedicated and professional support as the clients who have been referred to us by Project Fine. Project Fine is an invaluable resource not only to the immigrant community it serves, but to the social service provider community as well.
-Selena Britzius-Negash, Esq., Program Director Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota
They do an excellent job interpreting. They are professional and serve as cultural liaisons to help improve the services to clients I serve.
-Project FINE Language Services Satisfaction Survey respondent
A classroom visit from Fatima Said is an invaluable experience for students. She connects with students so well and the power of her story brings history and the immigrant experience alive for them in a way that a textbook simply cannot match. I count her visits as among the most memorable classroom experiences.
-Debra Cumberland, PhD, Professor, English Department, Winona State University
"Our nation has much to learn from Project FINE’s groundbreaking work to bring together immigrants and the broader, receiving community. Welcoming America has been delighted to feature Project FINE in its national webinar series this year and to see Executive Director Fatima Said honored as a Welcoming America Champion of Change by the White House. Project FINE and Fatima help remind us all that we create stronger, more vibrant communities when we continue to welcome immigrants."
-David Lubell, Executive Director, Welcoming America
This program has helped us, as we have learned many new things that will help us in the future. I’m so grateful for the help of Project FINE, as they help us expand our knowledge and have better opportunities in the world.
-Sai Her, Project FINE client
We are proud of our partnership with Project FINE. By working together, we can learn more about our community and use that deeper understanding to make a difference in the lives of our friends and neighbors who have enriched our world and brought fresh perspectives to all of us from around the world.
-Dr. Judith Ramaley, Former President, Winona State University
Project FINE has done a magnificent job in improving the ability of new Americans to access and use the Internet. Their ability to bring digital inclusion into the center of their work with immigrants and refugees will have lasting positive impacts on these families.
-Bernadine Joselyn, Director of Public Policy and Engagement, Blandin Foundation
Project FINE and its Diversity Youth Quest (DYQ) serve as important examples of how bringing together immigrants and longer-term receiving communities members can transform lives and create more welcoming communities. After speaking to experts around the country in the development of the Receiving Communities Toolkit, it became increasingly clear that DYQ can inform other growing efforts to reach out and engage mainstream Americans in immigrant integration work.
-Susan Downs-Karkos, Director of Strategic Partnerships, Welcoming America
It was a pleasure working with Project FINE and learning more about the great work of your organization. Project FINE completed the Accountability Wizard at record speed with almost all standards met from the time of the initial review - you should be proud of the work you’ve done to get your organization where it is!
-Jenna Forner, Former Nonprofit Services Coordinator, Charities Review Council
Your organization is critical in helping integrate newcomers into our community, thank you for all you do.
-Pat Mutter, Director, Visit Winona
I have nothing but positive things to say about Project FINE. I was able to get my Drivers License and employment through them. I’m not sure where to get the services if there is no Project FINE. I am so thankful to them.
-Cha Lee, Project FINE Client
It is difficult to imagine how our office would manage the health needs of newcomers if Project FINE were not here to help them integrate into our community. The uncertainties of relying on children or relatives with little English can make health care delivery dicey. The confidence and uncertainty that comes with qualified interpretation is imperative to proper health care.
-Dr Chris Carroll, Peditric Dental Care
Working in collaboration with Project FINE to offer Spanish interpreted childbirth classes has been a huge success for both patients and staff at the Family Birth Center. Patients are more informed about the labor and delivery process and staff are better prepared to meet the cultural needs of this population.
-Robin Hoeg, Director of Inpatient Services, Winona Health
Project FINE has helped me tremendously to express myself in a language completely different than mine and communicate my needs as resident of this county. If Project FINE did not exist I would never be able to express and communicate what I am thinking and feeling; basically we wouldn’t be able to communicate our needs as people.
-Diana Flores Rodriguez, Project FINE client
I Project FINE professionally and skillfully conducted [diversity training] three times for us for a very reasonable fee. A diverse group taught the employees cultural awareness through facts, activities, and personal stories. We are grateful that Project FINE was so willing and able to bring this important training and awareness to the employees of the courts, so they are better equipped to serve the public.
-Sara Daley, Human Resources Coordinator, Third Judicial District, Winona County
They assist us with interpreting interviews, translating letters to be sent out to clients and making phone contacts with clients to clarify a question we or the client may have. Project FINE has been very timely in scheduling interviews or client follow-up. The staff has been very helpful and pleasant to work with.
-Chris Rickoff, Financial Worker,Department of Human Services
I came to Winona in 1991 with little English skills. When Project FINE came into the picture, everything was easier. Project FINE provided interpreters to make sure we completely understood everything. They helped me to look for a job, with English classes, information on benefits and many other programs. With Project FINE’s help, I’m looking forward to becoming a U.S. Citizen this summer or fall. I’m also looking forward to buying a house. Project FINE has been a great asset to me and my family.
-Yer Xiong, Project FINE client
As an organization, we enjoyed the learning we received from Project FINE. The information was helpful in our journey to learning more about diversity and striving to improve our cultural competency.
-Dennis Theede, Executive Director, Home and Community Options
When we felt we needed to reach out to an underserved portion of our community, we turned to Project FINE for help. They provided excellent cultural awareness training for all of our coworkers and were invaluable in building bridges to and with the Hispanic communities in our county. They have been an outstanding partner this past year and will continue to be into the future.
-Jack Richter, President,Winona National Bank
Because of Project FINE and its staff or professional interpreters, the City of St. Charles was not only able to provide effective relief services to flood and fire victims, but we were also able to truly understand the needs of our residents. Project FINE continues to serve as an invaluable organization within Winona County by helping to connect residents to services and people dedicated to providing the quality of life that we all have come to expect.
-Nick Koverman, City Administrator, City of St. Charles
We really appreciate the work Project FINE does with newcomers to our community. They have significantly enhanced our ability to make programs we administer accessible.
-Craig Brooks, Former Director, Winona County Department of Human Services
Project FINE interpreters are the BEST; they assist Winona County Financial Workers with coordinating and communicating with non-English speaking individuals regarding public assistance programs. Without the interpreters’ valuable skills, we would not be able to meet the needs of our clients.
-Jacki, Peggy, Cindy and Christi,Winona County Department of Human Services
Project FINE is… a fine organization with a big heart. They were there for the fire victims from the get go. They saw to it that the victims had a place to go and all the essentials that they needed. A big thank you to Project FINE – I am glad and we’re very fortunate to have an organization like this in our community.
Project FINE has helped me get my citizenship by helping me study at their office. Citizenship means that I’m American and that’s good! I have prayed for my citizenship, so I can be a missionary and help other people.
-Nou Hang,Project FINE client
I am really grateful for all the help that has been given to me (by Project FINE) … I don’t have the words; only thank you.
- Project FINE client
Project FINE is a priceless service for Winona Health. The interpreters make themselves available to our patients 24 hours a day and they are there when seconds count.
-Rebecca Lamberty, RN, Winona Health
I appreciate the partnership with Project FINE and the Saint Charles Public Schools. Goals are same to help newcomers in community to be successful, and it’s an excellent partnership that will be really beneficial to the future successes of the St. Charles community.
-Allen Rasmussen, Former Principal, Saint Charles Elementary School
We in Winona sometimes wonder where the next generation of entrepreneurs will come from. Throughout this area’s history, immigrants have been an important source of entrepreneurial initiative and we can remain hopeful that such a tradition will continue. The work of Project FINE in fostering entrepreneurship with Winona-area businesses and organizations will pay significant dividends in the future. We can count on that as we have counted on the contribution of immigrants to this area for more than a hundred years.
-Dr. Gabriel Manrique, Professor of Economics and Finance, Winona State University
The ability to communicate with people who don’t speak English is critical to comprehending program guidelines, job search activity and work duties. We are pleased that Project FINE has provided translation and interpreter services to the Winona Workforce Center for years. Interpreters readily come to our office or community sites to aid in job search efforts and on the job training assistance for non-English speaking participants. Project FINE is a valuable resource in our community.
-Ann Nelson, M.S.LSW, PHR, Winona Workforce Center
Project FINE is our local bridge to welcome, acclimate, advocate for, and provide the necessary tools to help immigrants succeed in their new environment. From work issues to healthcare concerns and from language barriers to diversity training, Project FINE has helped all of us understand the strength of diversity as we weave together all cultures into the fabric of America.
-Robert Reinert, Former Administrator, Winona County
Project FINE has worked to meet a defined and important need in our community. We are fortunate to have a strong partnership with Project FINE that assists our clients and patients to ensure a specific healthcare needs are met. This is a value for all involved.
-Rachelle Schultz, President and CEO, Winona Health
Project FINE has worked to strengthen the cultural understanding within our faculty, staff and students at Southeast Tech. Fatima and her staff have been committed to helping us learn as much as we can about the people in our communities. By learning more about each other, we all gain a better understanding and become more inclusive.
-Nate Emerson, Vice President, MN State College-Southeast Technical
Our community suffered a major loss when North Star Foods was destroyed by fire, but the damages went much further than the loss of buildings. We truly lost one of our greatest assets, the employees of the plant. Many of these employees were fortunate to have received the assistance of Project FINE. A building can be rebuilt, but the loss for the community will take years to replace.
-Bill Spitzer, Former Mayor, City of St. Charles
As a result of our Council’s ongoing collaborative partnership with Project FINE, the residents of Winona County have been provided with several unique and wonderful opportunities to learn more about the justice system. We look forward to working on many more successful projects with Project FINE in the future!
-Kalene Engel, Executive Director, Winona County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council
Students struggle between their own identity and that of their families no matter where they are from as they go through adolescence. Empowering the students that come to Diversity Youth Quest to learn about their world can make an exciting difference in their lives. I am grateful to be introduced to such a progressive program with people who are really passionate about its success.
As someone who professionally runs a museum depicting 18th and 19th century immigration, I am well aware of the many challenges and barriers that immigrants face beginning a new life in America. Project FINE is doing amazing things to help today’s immigrants find their place within the American dream. Their outreach through education, direct services, and networking is often unsung and nothing short of heroic!
-Kevin Wester, Former Director, Luxembourg American Cultural Center
Project FINE’s work of integrating newcomers benefits all of us. Understanding each other and giving all of us skills to work with people from different backgrounds provides a healthy foundation for the entire community.
-Beth Forkner Moe, President, Envision It Together Consulting
Through Project FINE, AmeriCorps *VISTA members have improved the lives of many throughout Winona County. We are honored to be a partner as Project FINE continues to grow and prosper.
-Sam Schuth, Minnesota State Director, Corporation for National and Community Service
Project FINE continues to do exceptional work in the community and make our growing diversity an asset, not a liability.
-Eric Sorensen, Former City Manager, City of Winona