Samara Workshops

In January, I will be starting construction on shipping containers to build a space to host woodworking classes in a refugee community. Mobile Mini, a worldwide shipping container supplier has generously donated 2 containers to house the classes! Please consider supporting this project as we raise $16,500 to fund the buildout of the containers, purchase tools, and equipment, as well as materials for the first round of classes. Read below to find out more about the community, and why they are my passion.
Growing up I was provided many opportunities. I had the privilege of private education, club soccer, and the chance to attend Design School. Through my education, I learned the principles of how to meet specific needs through human centered design.

Over the years, I have gotten the chance to spend time with a large group of refugee kids through Project 658, a non-profit in Charlotte, North Carolina, who provides support in various ways to the community. I have built many relationships with the kids through sports, after-school programs, and spending time in their homes getting to know their families.
It became evident to me that less than 30% of teens in the community seek post-secondary education. For many, the chance to attend college is not an option due to financial burdens or inadequate transcripts. Instead, they carry the responsibility to start working right away to provide for their family. While post-secondary education is not for everyone, I know there is potential in every one of these kids to become impactful in their community.

I am developing a furniture making program and curriculum to teach woodworking to the refugee community. This program is geared toward teenage kids in order to provide opportunities within skilled labor positions in the Charlotte community. This program will aim to develop hand skills and proficiency with common tools across woodworking and skilled labor jobs.

In addition to my goal to provide job opportunities, I am tailoring every project to provide a piece of furniture for each student to take home and meet their family’s immediate needs in the home. It is my desire for these pieces to create a special space for families to come together in their homes.

Please consider joining my mission in providing opportunities for these kids. The entirety of your donation will go directly to fund this project and will be tax deductible.  Feel free to contact me if you are interested in other ways of helping either financially or with volunteering.

  • Sian Wright 
    • $50 
    • 37 mos
  • Caroline Collins 
    • $12 
    • 42 mos
  • Cliff and Evelyn Netzler 
    • $500 
    • 42 mos
  • Brooke Bolender  
    • $50 
    • 43 mos
  • Kenton LeVay 
    • $100 
    • 43 mos
See all


Ben Risma 
Charlotte, NC
Project 658 Inc 
Registered nonprofit
Donations are typically 100% tax deductible in the US.
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