AAFSC prepares immigrant and refugee families to learn, work, succeed, volunteer, give back, and lead productive lives using our culturally and linguistically competent, trauma-informed model.
We know that it can be challenging for newly arrived immigrants and refugees to thrive. They often struggle with language barriers as they navigate an already unfamiliar system. By supporting adults in gaining the tools they need to succeed while simultaneously supporting their children in developing leadership skills early on, we are preparing families to truly flourish.
Through our Readiness Program, we teach English reading and writing to adults, many of whom are illiterate in their native language. Through group classroom instruction and individual tutoring, we meet our students where they are to ensure success. We also offer civic engagement classes by which 100% of participants pass their citizenship exams. Given the challenges associated with finding and securing employment, we offer job readiness sessions, where we help our students prepare resumes, learn about opportunities, and receive support during the application process.
Our Play-based Bonding Circle provides caregivers with special support to connect with their infants, toddlers, and young children, enabling us to reach families at a critical juncture in their children’s development. Our Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP)-informed staff and mental health specialists deliver the program in a safe, friendly group setting that promotes positive development and social-emotional well-being. Our theme-based curriculum provides the participants with knowledge, tools, behaviors, and toys to take home and embed into the family culture.
The Audacious Young Women of Action (AYWA – which means yes in Arabic) is a women-only group of young adults, who meet weekly as part of a peer to peer support network. In this group, the young women gain exposure to role models, explore possible life pathways, share their struggles, collectively craft solutions, and address relationship issues and cultural expectations. We are working in collaboration with these young women to explore the meaning of empowerment and identify ways to grow independently and in community. Our participants inspire each other to challenge preconceived notions about what a woman should be and do.
We have an equivalent program for our young men, MENar.
453 adults improved their English literacy, preparing them to succeed.
180 youth benefited from academic and leadership development, and healthy relationship exploration.
100% of individuals who participated in our Citizenship Prep Classes passed the exam.
All of our Priority Areas are linked. Program participants are exposed to a range of initiatives every time they enter our Center and staff across the agency are equipped to work with clients across priority areas. For example, our Youth Program participants are regularly involved in cross-cultural community efforts with local schools and are working to find platforms to amplify the voices of the marginalized. Further, all of our work is done through a lens of mental health promotion. Staff are equipped to recognize signs of distress and refer to our other services as well as partner organizations as needed.