Refugee youth are tremendously resilient, but they face significant challenges when they arrive in Chicago and have to adjust socially in a new language and culture while they also adapt to the rigors of the U.S. American school system. Our Youth Program helps 500+ refugee students every year to grow and excel through adjust, grow, and excel through school readiness training, an After-School Program with homework help, social time, and behavioral health activities, a 6-week summer day camp, in-home support from volunteer tutors, career counseling from volunteer mentors, and parent education and support.


Youth Program Services


School Readiness

As soon as refugee children arrive in Chicago, they participate in a school-readiness program designed to teach them all about school in America so that they are prepared for their first day.

After-School Program

Throughout the school year, young refugees participate in a lively after-school program. Youth receive one-on-one homework help, do arts and crafts, play sports, participate in community service projects, learn about health and nutrition, and more. Youth also take regular field trips and enjoy special events like the annual holiday party and refugee prom.

Summer Program

RefugeeOne’s 6-week day camp is the highlight of many young refugees’ summer. The camp gives youth the opportunity to enjoy Chicago’s summertime activities and “catch up” to their class level’s knowledge. Camp culminates in a boisterous Back-to-School party in August, where every child is given a backpack and school supplies. ​

In-Home Tutoring & Mentoring

Trained volunteers meet weekly for 1-2 hours in refugees’ homes to provide individualized academic support. They help with homework, practice English skills, and engage in literacy activities. ​

Parent Education & Support

RefugeeOne helps refugee parents learn how to support their children’s education through workshops on the American school system, helping children with homework, climbing the path to college, and more. Additionally, staff serve as liaisons between schools and families to foster communication and understanding. ​

Mental Health Care

Refugee youth are tremendously resilient. Due to traumatic experiences in their past, however, some benefit from clinical mental health services from a therapist trained in working with this unique population. Through our Wellness Program, RefugeeOne provides individual and group therapy for children in need to ensure that they have the support necessary to thrive in their new home. ​

​Young Adult Mentor

Be a friend and role model for a young adult, helping them work toward education and career goals. Attend workshops and social events with your mentee. Guided goal-setting framework provided