Youth Mentorship Program

Our next Volunteer Orientation is on Monday, October 2nd from 7-9pm, hosted virtually over Zoom. Please RSVP here, or email us at if you’re unable to attend.

Refugee youth have often experienced firsthand trauma and grief before arriving in Oregon, including the loss of their home, community, dreams, and all that is familiar to them.

Experiencing such things at a young age disrupts the child’s development, triggers their instincts of self-preservation, inhibits their imagination, and results in a sense of constantly being misunderstood and rootless. While technology provides various avenues to stay connected with family and friends abroad, electronic relationships only leave resettling youth feeling further isolated from the tangible community around them.

At Refugee Care Collective, we believe every young person deserves a positive environment to learn, grow, and discover who they are. Research shows that as newcomer families strive to become self-sufficient, one of the most important factors in the development and health of refugee youth is a committed, consistent relationship with at least one adult.

Through our Youth Mentorship Program, volunteers serve as role models and advocates for a junior-high or high school student over a 12 month period, meeting 3-4 times per month. Mentors work one-on-one with young newcomers to process their feelings and experiences, provide safe space for creativity and exploration, foster a sense of belonging and community, encourage their perseverance in the face of difficulty, and celebrate their successes.

Examples of how mentors support refugee youth include:

• Introducing them to new experiences
• Providing academic support and navigating higher education opportunities
• Building their proficiency in English
• Helping them navigate friendships with their peers
• Supporting them to achieve personal goals

Since 2017, we have paired more than 105 resettled youth with mentors through our Youth Mentorship Program, and have seen countless students graduate high-school, navigate college admissions, build friendships with their peers, and build upon their own strength and resilience as they dream about and plan their future.

Potential volunteers attend a Volunteer Orientation, fill out an application, and agree to a background check. RSVP for our upcoming Volunteer Orientation on Monday, October 2nd from 7-9pm here.