Murthy Law Firm Celebrates Successful Immigrants at Annual FIRN Dinner

Murthy Law Firm attorneys, Dana Delott and Joel Yanovich, were among scores of immigrant advocates, community supporters, and philanthropists celebrating the achievements of outstanding immigrants in Howard County at FIRN’s 11th Annual American Success Awards, held June 4th at the Turf Valley Conference Center in Ellicott City, MD. The MurthyNAYAK Foundation is proud to be among the major sponsors of this event.

FIRN was the brainchild of Pat Hatch, a social entrepreneur who recognized the need for a place where immigrants could ask questions “without feeling stupid.” [See What is FIRN?] Now, more than 30 years later, FIRN – which stands for Foreign-Born Information and Referral Network – offers a comprehensive array of services to immigrants from more than 75 countries: services such as immigration counseling, English language classes, interpreting, and referrals to health and human services agencies that assist immigrant clients.

This year, three prominent immigrants received FIRN’s American Success Award, honoring their business and professional achievements, and their distinguished contributions to their own ethnic communities – and to the social and economic vitality of Howard County, as a whole.

  • Bita Dayhoff fled her native Iran during the revolution, in 1979. She is now president of the Community Action Council of Howard County, which helps low-income residents escape poverty and achieve self-sufficiency.
  • Min Kim didn’t know a word of English when she emigrated from Korea at age 10. She now runs the International Student and Family Outreach Office for the Howard County Public School System, which provides language services to immigrant students and their parents.
  • Dou “Alvin” Zhang, M.D., Ph.D., is a ChineseAmerican internist and cardiologist with a long resume of volunteer service, all aimed at improving the health of the AsianAmerican community in Howard County, and across the state of Maryland.

The 2013 Pat Hatch Award was conferred on Dr. David Anderson, founder and senior pastor at Bridgeway Community Church, a multicultural faith community that is home to 4,000 people from 52 countries. Dr. Anderson’s church provides an array of services to the foreign born: education and counseling programs, a food bank, English language tutoring, and citizenship classes, to name a few. As FIRN noted in the program for the awards ceremony, “Dr. Anderson coined the word ‘gracism’ which is the ‘positive extension of favor on other human beings based on color, class, or culture. ‘Gracism gives extra goodness to those who are left out, on the fringe, or don’t fit in.'”

It’s a sentiment that’s very much in the spirit of FIRN’s founder and guiding light, Pat Hatch, who made a career of welcoming new Americans to the diverse community that Howard County has become. It is also very much in line with the MurthyNAYAK Foundation’s goal of helping immigrants to the United States. From all of us here at the Murthy Law Firm: congratulations to this year’s honorees! We hope your example will inspire others, just as FIRN has done for so many years!

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Disclaimer: The information provided here is of a general nature and may not apply to any specific or particular circumstance. It is not to be construed as legal advice nor presumed indefinitely up to date.