AYCO’s mission statement is “…to forget the past, engage the present and hope for the future.” We encourage all youth to pursue higher education, positive activity and active engagement in their communities. AYCO focuses on empowering the young members of the community to become tomorrow’s leaders.read more
AYCO’s mission statement is “…to forget the past, engage the present and hope for the future.”
AYCO’s mission is to encourage and empower immigrant, refugee and other youth to become tomorrow’s leaders. Immigrant and refugee children face enormous challenges as they attempt to find their place in a completely new and different society, yet they often lack past experience and training in skills that their new peers take for granted. And they are often burdened with memories of deeply traumatic events and transitions. AYCO has created a program that educates immigrant and refugee youth in our community about the dangers and challenges they face in this new and very different country. At the same time, AYCO teaches them how to be successful participants at home, in school, in sports and in their new communities while strongly encouraging them to retain pride in their unique cultural identity and heritage.
AYCO was originally conceived as a general services organization for African immigrants and refugees and in 2009, we began working with middle-school and high-school aged students as a way to determine the needs of and establish strong bonds with newly arrived families. However, we quickly realized the deep needs and overwhelming demand for youth services in Portland, Beaverton and surrounding communities, so at the present time, our energies remain focused there. As our organization grows, we will continue to expand the scope of our services in such a way as to serve the needs of the larger refugee and immigrant community and the greater Portland community as well.
Youth and Student Services:
AYCO has already demonstrated the ability to support over 100 immigrant and refugee youth through effective, culturally appropriate programs. We have taken a multi-pronged approach to supplying students with critical academic skills and helping them build a sense of identity within, and connection to, their new community. AYCO Runs following successful programs :
- In-home tutoring
- Homework assistance
- family engagement programs
- Cultural classes
- Organized sports programs such as soccer, basketball, and truck, which serve as a critical connection point to their American peers.
- Established a prototype ‘Girl’s Club’ at Jackson Middle School, which is designed to meet the specific needs of young immigrant and refugee women
In order to participate in these programs students must attend after-school tutoring, show improvements in their grades, and volunteer in our programs for younger participants. Through all of these programs we strive to provide youth from unstructured backgrounds with confidence building tools and strong leadership skills. In only 3 years of existence we have supported 50 high school graduates, compared to only 4 students who were unable to complete their education. Many of our participants have gone on to college and continue to hold leadership roles within the organization.
AYCO was founded and continues to be run by active members of the community being served, or who have developed a deep understanding of the community and it’s needs. As a result, AYCO has the cultural expertise and experience to develop student support programs and cultural sensitivity trainings that are culturally appropriate, accurate, and highly effective. Since it’s foundation in 2010, AYCO’s leaders have served as figures of support and guidance for the local African immigrant and refugee community. AYCO is well known and trusted within this community.
AYCO has focused on the end it has access to, working with families on basic skills like reading academic reports and homework schedules. AYCO has also worked hard to educate families about the American education system, encouraging and coordinating attendance at PTA meetings and parent-teacher conferences by providing transportation and interpreters when needed. AYCO has also acted as a mediator between families and school administrators when disciplinary or academic issues arise. However, family outreach is only so effective when teachers and administrators lack knowledge of the people and cultures they deal with
While AYCO has many formal programs, we have always been available at all hours to assist community members and refugee immigrant families with following services and resources:
- Family engagement and resources
- family consultation
- Parents educational.
In these cases we have worked closely with the refugee/immigrant families and American institutions (such as DHS, Portland Police Department, and PPS administrators) and served as cultural liaisons.
AYCO is looking to form an enduring partnership with relavent institutions that will increase the success rate of African immigrant and refugee students. AYCO has deep roots within this underserved community and has built a strong reputation and bond of trust with students and families.
Home work Help Monday to Friday-
This class is for students who are new comers and needed extra home work help or in some cases never attend school, the student and the youth leader will team up and tackle first home work and have always different subject the class it about 2 hours.
Home works help advance class Monday to Friday-
This class will help the high school kids who are struggling to achieve their responsibility, the problem is many immigrant and refugee children struggle with the demands of American schools: the new environment, language, and social scene often present barriers that students see as insurmountable. AYCO works with these students who are now falling through the cracks by providing academic tutoring, language instruction, and advice on cultural integration.
African girl’s group class-
African girls class is every Wednesday from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM the focus is first to have female instructor so the girls can feel more comfortable and have open discussion, then they will explore African culture by visiting one country and sharing knowledge.
Open court basketball-
Our Programs changes our kids and youth lives forever for better
Here’s the proof. Our survey shows December 2010 that positive relationships between our youth family teachers and community have a direct and measurable impact on children’s lives, by participating in our programs, that we provide daily, weekly and yearly.
- Kids and Youth have more confident in their schoolwork and 99% of kids enroll homework and tutoring.
- 75% get along better with their families, friends teachers and community.
- 56% unlikely to begin using illegal drugs
- 78% unlikely to begin using alcohol
- 52% unlikely to skip school or drop.
- 80% likely to get degree.
- 85% committed to volunteer their time.
Youth Education outreach
Our focus is to build youth skills to a better person successfully to prevent a risk for our community by creating sports activities while partnering with Portland public school, Beaverton school district, private schools, agencies individual and most of all youth themselves to fund. Our mission is to found cost effective programs such Soccer, Basketball track and field and much more. These programs with develop the youth and strength their moral and physical activities and have ongoing after school programs such home work club both girls and boys, school liaison services, youth leadership development achievements
AYCO has quickly made significant progress on its After School Program. The program combines athletic activities with academic study and gang prevention seminars. The program is focused on keeping young people off the streets and engaged in positive, constructive activities within their community. As the school day ends, students continuing in the program will first receive a nutritional snack, followed by an opportunity to participate in a brief physical activity to unwind and let off steam. Next, half the students will complete homework with adult support and receive academic tutoring in reading and math skills; while the other half participates in enrichment activities (Violence/Substance Abuse Prevention Activities). The two groups of students will switch activities part way through the afternoon. Organized recreational and cultural activities offered by AYCO have been found to decrease substance use and delinquency by providing an incentive for youth who are disengaged to be involved in school activities.
Youth outreach services
Participation in athletics is the cornerstone for many confident and engaged youth. AYCO will provide training, coaching, and equipment for immigrant and refugee children, many of whom of had little or no exposure to American sports. The sports program will have numerous benefits: it will provide structure and positive activity that will keep students away from drugs, alcohol, crime and violence; it will build individual confidence while emphasizing cooperation in a team environment; it will give
Many immigrant and refugee children struggle with the demands of American schools: the new environment, language, and social scene often present barriers that students see as insurmountable. AYCO will work with these students who are now falling through the cracks by providing academic tutoring, language instruction, and advice on cultural integration. Students involved in the tutoring program will also participate in enrichment activities, focusing on anti-drug and anti-gang activities. AYCO’s aims to instill the value of a good education while empowering students to become active participants in their own schooling.
The problem and Prevention
Prevention and biggest challenge is to create a program educates youth in our community about the danger and the challenging they face such us, Drugs, alcohol use and sexual abuse explosion along with many dangerous behaviors. We promote good decision making, we help youth identify more positive options.
African immigrant and refugee children face many obstacles to success. Statistics compiled by the Our Oregon Department of Education show that African American students drop out of school at a rate of 6.1% compared to 3.4% overall (and 2.9% for white students); students with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) dropped out at a rate of 6.2% state wide. In Portland SD 1J, the numbers jump to 9.3% for African Americans and 12.8% for LEP students. AYCO will address these shortfalls by building strong community organizations to support students struggling with a new language and new culture. *In Beaverton School District alone, there are 227 Somali students and 35 other African students. Out of those 227 students 99% are on free and reduced meal and receiving ESL services.*In Portland Public Schools, there are 380 Somali students and they stand 8% of the PPS student population. Most boys end up dropping out or get involved with gangs. Currently there are African Youths arriving from Congo, Chad, Tanzania, and Sudan and often they end up dropping out from school and choosing work for minimum. ESL services are available to families but families don’t know how to access these services therefore, AYCO is the liaison in helping these youths succeed.
Hope to Achieve
Enable graduates to grow into leadership positions in industry knowing the heartbeat of society better, so that decisions made towards career development will not be based merely on the bottom-line but with integrity toward society and the environment.
To encourage the youth to volunteer within their community to prevent them from drug and alcohol use which, will lead to behavior problems in real life situations and school. Acquaint students with career and professional-skill thus setting them up with volunteer possibilities in the nonprofit sector, business, government, hospitals and local settings, enable youth with tools to develop qualities such as confidence, compassion and self-reliance. Enable youth to explore and acquire new skills, interests and knowledge outside of their school and home setting. Provide opportunities for students to exercise creativity, organization, teamwork and leadership Recreation and educational activities for the youth and collaborate with local youth groups to promote growth and opportunities. Host social networking and cultural events for the youth and community
A strong community depends on the active engagement of its members. AYCO focuses on empowering the young members of the community to become tomorrow’s leaders. AYCO’s volunteers also come from the community, providing the opportunity for adults to also become actively involved. Further, AYCO’s volunteers serve as role models and examples of success for the younger generation – providing a bridge to Portland’s wider community.AYCO, in partnership with Portland public schools, Beaverton school district, Portland state University and Portland and Beaverton police Bureau along with business and developing the following programs for youth and advocacy and outreach.
- Sports Program: Participation in athletics is the cornerstone for many confident and engaged youth. AYCO will provide training, coaching, and equipment for immigrant and refugee children, many of whom had a little or no exposure to American sports. The sports program will have numbers of benefits. It will provide structure and positive activity that will keep students away from drugs, alcohol, crime and violence, it will build individual confidence while emphasizing corporation in a team environment, it will give students the necessary skills and ability to participate in activities with all local youth, and it will build trust between the students, parents, the community and the organization.
- After school program: many immigrant and refugee children struggle with the demands of American schools. The new environment, language and social scene often parents barriers that students see as insurmountable. AYCO will work with these students who are now falling through the cracks by providing academic tutoring, language instruction, and advice in cultural integration. AYCO’s goal here is instill the value of good education while empowering students to become active participants in their own schooling.
- Community Involvement Programs: AYCO”s goal include cultivating leaders and active participants within the immigrant and refugee community who will act as a bridge to their wider community of the Portland metro area. In pursuit of this goal AYCO heavily emphasize the impotence of volunteer work, and the youth participants will be encouraged to become volunteers themselves. Whether by working and cultural orientation of language skills with other members of the community, or volunteering at other community.
AYCO is firmly committed to providing local immigrant and refugee youth the skills and confidence necessary to be active members of their communities, and to cultivating tomorrow’s leaders.
Building on the Foundation
The Youth Services Programs are the foundation of AYCO’s mission, but not its end point. Building on the trust and bonds established through the Youth Programs, AYCO is developing programs for full immigrant and refugee family services. Young people brought up in the program will become volunteers and advocates for the Family Program along with other members of the Portland community.The Family Program will provide comprehensive services for recent immigrant and refugee arrivals, spanning the following areas:
- Refugee Resettlement Services
- Translation and Interpretation Services
- Cultural and Behavioral Orientation and Integration
- Job Training and Employment Referral
- Housing Assistance
- Basic Finance and Administrative Training
- Drug and tobacco Prevention
- Senior Programs
- Advocacy and Support
- Education and Nutrition
- Crime Prevention
- Parenting Education
- Affordable Legal Services