We recruit and train former students and community members whose resilience, language skills, and cultural competence strengthen the communities we serve and multiply our impact. With their background and experiences, we believe that newcomers can provide the strongest solutions to the challenges faced by refugee and immigrant communities.
We provide leadership training and support to refugee youth who already serve as leaders and sources of support in their communities. This program provides newcomer youth with a structured environment to learn leadership skills, network with other young leaders, receive academic guidance and counseling, develop tutoring and mentoring skills, and learn how to link their communities to existing resources. These youth serve as ambassadors from the newcomer communities to Refugee Transitions.
In our After-School Programs, Peer and Alumni Tutors assist students at least one hour per week to gain leadership skills. These youth leaders are selected through nominations by classroom teachers, volunteers, and After-School Program staff. Peer and Alumni Tutors receive training and support over the course of the semester, along with stipends.
Community Navigators and Classroom Assistants
Refugee Transitions recruits, trains, and pays Community Navigators--adult newcomers who assist newly arrived community members from their shared home countries. They act as interpreters, community ambassadors, and cultural liaisons. Our Community Navigators are able to build their skills while helping their community members learn English, access local resources, and advance towards self-sufficiency.
In our Women's Initiative, a program for newcomer women with small children, we engage female community leaders as classroom assistants and childcare providers. They provide multilingual and multicultural support to the mothers who attend the English class, and look after the tots in the early childhood development program. This is most often the first job that a woman has held in the U.S., and often the first job she had held ever. We consider it an important first step towards self-sufficiency and the workforce.