Eleven years ago, Alex Triantaphyllis and Christina Lagos Triantaphyllis met Felix, a young man who had recently come from Congo to Houston as a refugee. Through Felix they slowly came to understand the challenges and opportunities that these new Houstonians face every day. After getting to know many refugee families, they and other Rice students focused on helping youth in middle and high school. That was the beginning of PAIR.
Cecilia is a refugee from Congo who was mentored by Alex in PAIR's early days. Despite some struggles in middle school she mastered English and adjusted to her new life, Cecilia graduated from high school in just three years! She completed a degree in psychology while volunteering widely in the community, in hospitals and with teens. Today, she is pursuing her master's in social work at the University of Houston.