When Bojana Bozic moved to the U.S. from war-torn Bosnia, LSS was there to greet her family. Today, as an LSS colleague, she has come full circle, helping others.
The war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which raged from 1992 to 1995, is a distant footnote in history. But for LSS colleague Bojana Bozic, it’s why she immigrated to the United States in 2003, and it's where her path first crossed that of Lutheran Social Services.
When she was small, the civil war came to Bojana's doorstep. Her family fled from Bosnia, moving often. Her grandfather's brother had already emigrated to the United States after losing his own son in the war, and he applied to have Bojana's family join him.
A year later, her family came to the U.S.; Bojana was 15. They were greeted by their “Milwaukee” family and by LSS case workers who knew the Serbian language and helped the family with paperwork, housing, language classes, benefits and resources.
After learning some basic English, her father and mother quickly found work. Bojana mastered English quickly and went on to graduate from Alverno College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. It was then she crossed paths with LSS again when applying for a job.
Today, Bojana is doing for others what was done for her and her family. She works as a service coordinator at Hampton Regency, a 120-unit independent-living facility for the elderly and those with disabilities in Butler, Wis. She has also been trained to be a case manager, helping victims of human trafficking who have been relocated to Milwaukee. “I know what it’s like to have to start over,” she explained.
LSS provides initial resettlement services including case management, job preparation and placement and connection to community volunteers. Community support groups and churches are needed to help locate housing; gather needed donations of furniture and clothes; assist with moving and furnishing apartments; and education of refugees about American culture and customs.