For eight weeks during the fall semester, twelve students at the Refugee Youth Project’s Patterson High School site stayed for an extra two hours every Tuesday evening to participate in an exciting collaboration with Towson University called YAAAS! (Youth Artists and Allies taking Action in Society!).

YAAAS!, a new arts-based community engagement project, explored how the arts can be a powerful vehicle for supporting refugee youth in learning English, forming relationships across differences, expressing themselves, and finding their own sense of agency. Students were paired with twelve graduate students in Dr. Kate Collin’s IDFA 580 class as part of Towson’s Masters in Interdisciplinary Arts Infusion program. Over the course of their time together, the two sets of students learned a great deal about each other and ultimately were able to share their stories of their time together in a culminating showcase called “Conversation Pieces,” hosted at Towson on December 2, 2017.

The students and staff of the Refugee Youth Project wish to thank Dr. Kate Collins, Grazi Riberio, Vance Benton, Margot Harris, Towson University, and all of the graduate students for giving our students this amazing opportunity!

Photo credits: Michael Bussell & Kate Collins