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Rochester-based refugee mentorship program awarded federal grant

Rochester City School District

Rochester City School District’s Office of Adult and Career Education Services, OACES, will be receiving a six-figure grant for a mentoring program for young adult refugees. 

OACES will receive $110,797 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families for their Making a Connection program. The program will connect recent refugees aged 15 to 24 with an adult mentor to help them adapt to the local culture, prepare for careers,  assist them with financial literacy, and more.

Refugees who enter the U.S. as children generally fare better than those who enter as teens or young adults according to a 2017 study by the National Bureau of Economic Research. They attribute the difference to language barriers and the lack of a parent accompanying the teens and young adults who come as refugees.

This comes at a time when the Trump administration is weighing plans to drastically cut back the number of refugees admitted into the U.S. next year. Since taking office, President Donald Trump has slashed the cap for refugees entering the country by more than 70 percent.

Most of New York state’s refugee population who resettled in 2018 came from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Afghanistan, Burma, Ukraine, and Bhutan.

Noelle E. C. Evans is WXXI's Murrow Award-winning Education reporter/producer.