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Immigration and Refugees - Heartland Alliance

Page history last edited by Kelly Behrend 9 years, 2 months ago

Conference Call (5/4/11)

 

Youth Leadership Network (YLN) - established in 2006

Within the department of Youth and Family Services at "Refugee and Immigrant Community Services of Chicago" (there are 8 similar support agencies across the city).

 

Heartland’s Youth Leadership Network provides youth a space to develop leadership skills, discuss issues relevant to them, and plan and implement activities that benefit their peers and communities.  The youth involved in the program come together on a weekly basis to develop skills, learn new techniques and explore opportunities for personal growth.  The youth leaders then use these skills in the design and implementation of community service projects and peer-to-peer workshops.
 
The Youth Leadership Network allows youth to grow as leaders while expanding their awareness of both global and local issues. The youth leaders are able to develop cross-cultural sensitivity and knowledge of issues affecting the larger world as a result of the collaboration between refugee, immigrant and mainstream American youth. In addition, through the particular emphasis on refugee youth, this population is able to acquire skills necessary in their new home while bettering their communities.

 

  • programmatic functions: 
    • leadership development (weekly meetings)
    • community outreach (monthly service projects)
    • peer-to-peer education (quarterly workshops)
    • skill-based retreat (annually in June) 
  • youth leaders (resettled refugees) originally created workshops to guide group through development
  • now open to refugees and mainstream students
  • differs from traditional afterschool program, as it functions more as a key club or honor society
  • workshops in the past have focused on the refugee experience, educational disparities,
  • youth leaders present to youth who are in other Heartland programs; from surrounding communities 
  • retreat will be facilitated by three organizations (Multicultural Youth Project, Korean American Cultural Resource Center, Heartland Alliance)
  • partnered with Loyola Academy, which has a social justice curriculum, by inviting mainstream students into the group (expanding diversity of group in terms of socioeconomic level, race, etc.) 

 

 

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