Mayor Joe Schember has declared this month World Refugee Awareness Month in Erie and as a way to honor that, he has introduced a new council.

According to the mayor, the new American Council will look to help everyone feel welcomed and important in the city.

Over 20 people will make up the diverse group.

Throughout the last five years, people from 75 different countries have become Americans in Erie. One member from the new council, Walaa Ahmad, says she hopes that through this, she can help others who are following her path.

“I was in their [shoes] one day, so I know how it feels to be new to a culture, to a new environment, so I want to help provide them with the resources that Erie has to offer.”