The Refugee Youth Project’s mentoring program matches refugee and asylee youth in Baltimore City and Baltimore County with caring adults who commit to serving as guides, resources, friends, and teachers for a period of 1 year or more. Young people benefit from additional English language practice, help with schoolwork, goal setting, exploration of careers and interests, recreational activities, visiting Baltimore landmarks, and having a trusted supporter. Students and families are typically referred to the mentoring program by the International Rescue Committee’s youth team, a teacher, or a community member. Youth selected for the program are often in need of additional social, academic, or emotional support to adjust to their new lives in the U.S., or may live farther away from RYP’s current after-school program sites. Mentors commit to spending 2 hours per day, one day per week with the families they work with.
As part of our Refugee School Impact Grant, RYP also places mentors with parents. These matches are geared toward facilitating communication between the parent and the school system, helping parents to support their children’s academic achievement, and English acquisition. Many clients that are referred to us are unable to attend English classes due to childcare restraints or have had limited formal education prior to arrival in the U.S. We primarily work with single or stay-at-home mothers.
Mentors maintain weekly contact for a year to build a relationship and help them practice their English language skills. Mentors also serve as a resource for the parent(s) and their children, acting as a guide for exploring their neighborhoods, discovering American culture, and becoming a self-sufficient family.
I loved working with my mentee family. [The kids] were amazing and their mother is so invested in helping them. I have volunteered a lot throughout my life in a variety of different settings and this was one of my most rewarding experiences. I felt like I really made a difference in this family’s overall adjustment to their new life.-Youth Mentor
Teachers and Service Providers:
Do you know a student or family who would benefit from an RYP Mentor? Fill out a referral form and we’ll reach out to them!
Are you an adult, age 21 or older, that would like to become a role model and mentor to a young refugee? Or, are you interested in working with a single or stay-at-home mother to help her integrate and learn English?