On behalf of the Board and Staff of our agency, we are thrilled to announce that we are officially changing our organization’s name to Refugee & Immigrant Transitions.
We expanded our name to be more inclusive of the diverse populations that we serve. Our agency has been working with people from 50 countries who’ve sought refuge in the U.S., whether refugees, asylum-seekers, or immigrants (regardless of documented status). We strongly feel like our name change has a special significance in this political climate, when our media is inundated with negative messaging around immigration. It is more critical than ever to express solidarity with our immigrant students.
At the same time, we are keeping the words Refugee and Transitions, which we’ve had since 1990. We continue to serve those who came to the Bay Area through the U.S. refugee resettlement program. Besides that, the word “refugee” recognizes that all of our students, no matter their specific status, have experienced forced migration and sought refuge from war, persecution, violence, economic duress, and/or climate change. We help our students transition and adjust to their new lives in the U.S. and achieve ambitious goals such as education, employment, citizenship, and community engagement.
We are also proud to present our new mission statement:
“To welcome and partner with those who have sought refuge, employing strengths-based educational approaches and community supports so they may thrive in our shared communities.”
The term strengths-based encapsulates our approach to designing our programs. We recognize that newcomers bring innumerable internal assets to the U.S. and make significant community contributions. They bring “job skills of the future” such as multilingualism, multiculturalism, adaptability, and determination. In our home-based tutoring program, we foster cross-cultural relationships and often observe volunteers learning from their students. Through our community leadership program, we are honored to work with/provide internships to community members and leaders.
Our students achieve outstanding outcomes. At least 80% of the high school seniors who had passed through our academic assistance programs, graduate high school every year (outperforming English learner peers in California). 90-100% of our youth leaders enter college after graduating, many of them the first in their families to do so. As for our adult students, they make significant English language gains to navigate their new community, participate more actively in their children’s education, gain employment, and become U.S. citizens.
We are so excited about this new chapter of our agency’s history! We are grateful for your friendship and support.