We provide the tools for learners of every age to succeed.
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 Caregiver-Child Bonding Circle provides caregivers with special support to connect with their children 0-3 years old, 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. We currently offer the Circles in Arabic and Bangla.
A component of our Young Adult & Youth Program, the Audacious Young Women of Action (AYWA – which means “Yes!” in Arabic) is a support group for young women and girls designed to foster a safe space for vulnerable, gender-related topics discussed within a culturally-sensitive framework. In this group, 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 work 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.
711 adults participated in our ESOL and Civics classes
145 young people benefitted from academic and leadership development and social-emotional learning
540 caregivers and their children enrolled in early childhood development and support
AAFSC’s Funny Girls is an improv group led by girls, for girls. In this Young Adult & Youth Program group, participants develop skills and values such as public speaking, leadership, self-expression, trust, collaboration, and empathy. The group encourages participants to employ improv strategies to express their thoughts and feelings creatively. Their efforts culminate in a showcase every semester for their families and members of the AAFSC community, providing the young women and girls with experience in performance-based creative expression.
Each of our Young Adult & Youth Program support groups are complemented by comprehensive academic and leadership programming which emphasizes homework help, test-prep, English literacy, and college/career road mapping. This is particularly important as many of the young adults we serve have fallen behind on academic because of interruptions in their schooling and literacy issues. Our staff address these challenges through enhanced, culturally responsive, and linguistically accessible support to eliminate gaps in their learning and development and work to connect students and their family members to the support needed to thrive.
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.