Passport to Prosperity​

A week of events and celebrations recognizing immigrants and refugees for their outstanding achievements in their communities. 

2024 announcement to come in the Spring of 2024.

2023 Passport to Prosperity Gala
October 6, 2023

Meet Your 2023 Honorees

The amazing people listed below were nominated for their significant contributions to their communities right here in Iowa. Through their stories, you'll read about acts of kindness, bravery, and determination. The success they've achieved so far is only the beginning.

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Tricia Gabriel

Liberia

Tricia Gabriel is the co-founder of Genesis Youth Foundation (GYF) along with husband Sam Gabriel. She has been one of the driving forces of engaging the children of refugee and immigrant families in academics, sports, dance and the arts in order to “level the
playing field” for them and their families. In addition to serving as the programming and arts director of GYF, Tricia has worked as a full-time nurse. Tricia is from Monrovia, Liberia where her family’s tribe was targeted by rebels. They fled to a government military base, moved to a
refugee camp in Ivory Coast, and arrived in Des Moines via a refugee program.

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Boaz Nkingi

Democratic Republic of the Congo

Boaz Nkingi is Founder & President of the Iowa Congolese Organization and Center for Healing (ICOACH). Nkingi was born and raised in the village of Vyura in Democratic Republic of the Congo. He lost 7 family members in a 2004 attack on the Gatumba refugee camp Burundi. He and his remaining family later resettled to the U.S., eventually coming to Iowa to reunite with other cousins. As a refugee, Nkingi is familiar with the steep learning curves that come with adapting to a new country and a new education system. As a result, Nkingi and his family founded ICOACH in 2017 to be a space of healing, connecting, and navigating life for Congolese and people of other nationalities/ethnicities.

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Sabrina Sartori Rocha Chouinard

Brazil

Sabrina Sartori Chouinard is a Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LISW, CCT.   After 15 years of extensive experience in the clinical psychology field in Brazil, Chouinard immigrated to the US with her young son, enrolled in English language classes, earned a Masters in Social Work, and became certified in the latest and most effective treatments in trauma. During the Covid-19 pandemic, Sabrina participated in a pro-bono outreach program, soon inspiring her to open an outpatient program for anorexia nervosa, where she is still treating immigrants today.

Antonio Kioko

Kenya

Tony Kioko is a Software Engineering Manager with John Deere. As a community leader, he has worked tirelessly to provide essential services and resources to refugees and immigrants, helping them navigate the challenges of resettlement and integration into our Iowa community. Whether through his leadership of local groups like OneVoice or the co-creation of Tech Journey, Kioko has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to promoting social justice and equity. He has exposed many Iowans to the culture of Africans from across the continent. He has been a risk-taker and an innovator. He has gone “above and beyond” in his efforts to make Iowa a more welcoming state.

Mak Suceska

Bosnia

Mak Suceska is the State Refugee Coordinator for the State of Iowa. In a harrowing escape, Suceska and his family fled war and genocide in Bosnia and eventually settled
in the United States. Mak has over 13 years of experience in non-profits and state government, working to assure that refugees have access to the same opportunities he was granted by his parents hard work. Mak has been an advocate for updating Iowas policies to allow more foreign-educated Iowans secure a US high school education without having to repeat classes. He is committed to growing Iowa’s Ethnic Community Based Organizations, helping newcomers adjust to life in the US, while honoring their heritage, and is instrumental is coordinating statewide collaborations.

Meet Your 2021 Honorees

The amazing people listed below were nominated for their significant contributions to their communities right here in Iowa. Through their stories, you’ll read about acts of kindness, bravery, and determination. The success they’ve achieved so far is only the beginning.

Shaimaa Aly
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Harka Biswa
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Ivania Gabriella Guerra Ceron
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Shaimaa AlyDr. Maria Corona
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Luisita Thompson
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Saturday Oct. 1st

Global Des Moines Scavenger Hunt
Check off your scavenger list hunting through local stores, monuments, and other areas in downtown Des Moines and East Village. Participate on your own or with a team of up tot 4 people. New this year is a special family Route!

Monday Oct. 3

Social Media Shoutout
This day is dedicated to highlighting individuals and organizations who have done something great in our Iowa communities. Purchase your own shout out to recognize those who have positively affected your life, and be sure to follow us on your favorite platform @IAinternational.

Wedensday Oct. 5

Global Café: Immigrants & Refugees as Community Change makers
Being a change maker requires relentless commitment to the great goal. During this webinar meet the 2022 Honorees who make a difference every day.

Thursday Oct. 6

Peace Tree Brewing​​

6:30 pm

Peace Tree Brewing

6:00PM

International Trivia
Test your knowledge and join us for a fun night of trivia. Free to participate on your own or register a team. Come support Iowa International Center while having fun!

Friday Oct. 7

6:30PM Social

7:00PM Dinner & Program

Des Moines Botanical Garden

Passport to Prosperity Gala
Our 2022 honorees will fill you up with home and inspiration as they share their stories of success, struggle, and the will to prosper.

Nominations are closed for 2023

Do you know someone who has made a significant and positive impact in their community?

These impacts could be economic, social, or cultural as long as they’re within the state of Iowa.

To qualify for the award, nominees must receive TWO letters of support, and must be available to receive the award on October 6th at our formal event.

Deadline to submit a nomination is April 26th, 2023 

Questions? Reach out to Patricia Grote

pgrtoe@iowainternationalcenter.org

Thank You to our 2023 Sponsors and Donors!

Thank you to all that helped us celebrate the 20th anniversary of Passport to Prosperity!

A big thank you to all of our sponsors and donors that made this past year a great success. 

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Meet Your 2021 Honorees

The amazing people listed below were nominated for their significant contributions to their communities right here in Iowa. Through their stories, you’ll read about acts of kindness, bravery, and determination. The success they’ve achieved so far is only the beginning.

Shaimaa Aly
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo
Harka Biswa
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo
Ivania Gabriella Guerra Ceron
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo
Shaimaa AlyDr. Maria Corona
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo
Luisita Thompson
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo
Past Honorees
As we look back on the history of Passport to Prosperity we see so many amazing people that have been honored the past 20 years. Check out all of the outstanding past honorees and help us continue to honor their contributions to Iowa’s community.

Interested in showing your support for our global community by sponsoring this event?

Contact Pat Grote
pgrote@iowainternationalcenter.org

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