Refugee Scholarship Program
Students from refugee families face some extraordinary challenges in school. Some who come from little or no formal education must learn English just to start to learn in an American school, must catch up with American school curriculum, make cultural adjustments – WOW! It’s a real challenge. Add to this the fact that their parents are not familiar with the American education system and therefore cannot help or participate in supporting their child’s education.
Realizing that this is a daunting situation, and sensitive that some students are better able to adjust than others, Kathy LaBue, retired director and founder of Mary’s Place Refugee Outreach, started a scholarship program to help refugee students into parochial schools. Holy Cross School and Bishop Kearney High School have been the strongest collaborators in this effort. These two schools have extended themselves to accommodate our students, who are thriving in this environment. And the schools and their American students benefit from the richness and diversity that refugee students bring.
Holy Cross and Bishop Kearney are not free, so a scholarship fund has been set up to help defray tuition and school expenses. The students’ families are expected to contribute some to the cause, and the students themselves are required to do community service above and beyond any requirements for same that the school expects.
Kathy has been out in the community looking for those who would support the scholarship program. Costs run about $2000/student/year. She has a group of ten women, for instance, who each put in $200 to help one student. There are others who send $50 or $100 a month to help. RRRS has received a significant donation with which we will buy ‘priced-right’ houses, repair and clean them up then rent them to refugees, using the extra cash flow from these houses to support the scholarship fund.
If you are interested in helping with this program, or can gather some people together for Kathy to talk to, we would like to hear from you. You can contact Kathy directly here. A a GoFundMe page has been started for the scholarship program. You can make a donation by clicking on the GoFundMe logo here.
Our Building Nears
Completion of Renovation
Thanks to some City of Rochester grant funding for the Northwest Focused Investment area our building owner (International Products and Services, Inc.) has nearly completed an exterior renovation of our building. Included is vinyl siding to three sides and a stucco finish on the front. We have a new door and windows in our office. Yet to be finished is trim work, signage and lighting.
New Classes at RRRS
With the completion of our classroom/computer lab we have launched a high school equivalency class (now called TASC). We have 10 students enrolled; adults who may be currently working in entry level jobs but have the ability to do much better with a high school degree. We are very fortunate to have 4 teachers who are volunteering to run the program (See our Special Recognition feature, below left). TASC is a tougher regimen than the previous GED program, but much of the information needed to pass the tests are on line. We are also having students from area colleges help tutor our students.
Donate to the RRRS via United Way of Greater Rochester
We are happy to announced the RRRS has been approved as a donor designation eligible agency for the United Way Campaign, by the United Way of Greater Rochester.
Our donor designation number is 3328. If you would like to make sure that your United Way donation goes to the RRRS, when you fill out the United Way Designation Form, enter Rochester Refugee Resetttlement Services, Inc. as the designated recipient, along with this number.