DALLAS—Leonid Regheta, director of Project: Start Refugee Resource Center, a Baptist General Convention of Texas-supported ministry, received the Immigrant Advocate Award at the 7th Annual Immigrant Journey Awards.
The Immigrant Journey Awards— established by Ann Massey Badmus—celebrate diversity in the Dallas area. The June 15 event, scheduled as part of Immigration Heritage Month, recognized immigrants and those who advocate on their behalf in North Texas, and scholarships were awarded to outstanding immigrant and first-generation American high school seniors.
The Immigrant Advocate Award specifically recognizes an individual, organization, business or governmental entity who has made a positive impact on the lives of immigrants.
Regheta affects the lives of many through Project: Start, a refugee center in the three-mile stretch of the Vickery Meadow neighborhood in North Dallas, where more than 30,000 refugees live and at least 30 languages are spoken.
He works daily to connect refugees with the resources they need to find stability while connecting them with nearby churches that worship in their language.
Regheta also empowers various churches around North Texas to bring their own missions teams to minister to these refugee communities.
“Leonid’s commitment and compassion for the refugee community in Dallas are both a blessing and an encouragement to those he serves,” said Bill Arnold, president of the Texas Baptist Missions Foundation. “He takes a cup of cold water in Jesus’ name everywhere he goes.”
During his acceptance speech, Regheta expressed thanks to Texas Baptists who “do so much for refugees and immigrants,” he said.
“Project: Start was started because of their idea, and now we are impacting so many lives together with other wonderful people—volunteers and supporters,” Regheta.