World Relief Chicago’s Youth Services supports newly arrived refugee children and teens, grades K-12, by providing education, support, and advocacy. Our family-centered approach delivers the holistic care needed to develop students academically, socially, and emotionally.
Our staff engages families throughout the resettlement process with services that support families for up to three years. We begin working with parents and children from their date of arrival and continue to walk alongside families through the school enrollment process, parent-teacher conferences, and day-to-day communication between schools and parents. WRC works closely with numerous Chicago Public Schools, where we actively engage school teachers and administrators to ensure a positive transition for refugee students.
To further bridge the transition between home and school, WRC’s after school services give refugee youth a safe place to come each week where they can learn and grow among others who identify with their experiences. We offer an after-school program on Tuesdays and Thursdays, where students receive one-on-one homework tutoring and ESL instruction from community volunteers. We also match students with volunteer In-Home Tutors, who provide individualized, home-based academic support.
WRC’s Summer Learning Program provides an additional, multi-cultural learning environment that engages youth through language-focused instruction and enrichment activities. Students learn how to access community resources through field trips to Chicago museums, parks, and libraries. High School students have the opportunity to volunteer at local soup kitchens. At the end of summer, backpacks and school supplies are collected to distribute to youth before a new school year begins.
Lastly, WRC recognizes the important role that parents play in the educational success of their children. We support parental involvement through a series of workshops, which encourage parents to communicate with teachers and take a hands-on approach to their child’s education. Our goal is that parents would not only feel welcome in their local schools, but that they would also have a voice to advocate for their children.
Volunteer with Youth Services
The work of Youth Services is made possible by the volunteers who work with our students each week. Volunteers serve as tutors and mentors in the after-school program as well as in families’ homes. Volunteers must be willing to commit to a minimum of 4 months and 2 hours/week.
For more information about volunteering or interning with Youth Services contact:
Rachel Rasmussen, Youth Services Coordinator: (773) 681-8563