Alliance for Refugee Youth Support and Education (ARYSE)

The Problem

Approximately 21, 000 refugee children, the majority of whom have little to no English literacy skills, are resettled in the United States each year. Research shows that resettled refugee youth face academic and social challenges including low literacy, social isolation, and adjustment to a new educational system. These challenges hinder successful integration and prevent refugee youth from actualizing their potential as newcomer American citizens. Programs aimed at supporting these youth in the integration process are working in isolation and thus have limited capacity.

Plan of Action

I am starting an organization, ARYSE, that will connect and mobilize a national network aimed at supporting the successful integration and educational achievement of refugee youth. We are starting with university-based tutoring and mentoring programs. By building the capacity of these programs, as well as directly creating opportunity for refugee youth leadership within them, ARYSE will empower refugee youth to become confident self-advocates. ARYSE will achieve this by facilitating leadership development, cultivating transformative relationships, peer-to-peer learning, cultural exchange, resource sharing, and program innovation, and building a national community of resettled refugee youth and allies.

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