Last year, Rustic Pathways students completed 1,351 service hours with Baltimore City Community College’s Refugee Youth Project. Those students served 100 refugee youth, one-third of the 4 to 21 year-olds the Refugee Youth Project supports each year.
We’re proud of that, but we need your help to continue our work with the Refugee Youth Project in the years to come.
It’s no secret why we’re asking. In addition to a years-long screening process that only admits the most vulnerable, recent federal government policies are making it even more difficult for refugees who desperately need asylum to escape war or persecution.
More than 70 percent of the funding for the Refugee Youth Project comes from the federal government and the organization is worried those sources will suffer substantial cuts this year, putting its future services for refugee children in jeopardy.
“I’ve watched young people transform from being scared and confused to becoming active leaders in their community,” said Kursten Pickup, Refugee Youth Project Coordinator. “Witnessing their passion, joy, and their determination to give back to others, is inspiring. It breaks my heart to think about so many families who won’t be afforded the opportunities they deserve—a chance to build a new life, pursue free education, and become part of a community that promotes acceptance, respect, and free speech.”
Since 2015, Rustic Pathways has partnered with the Refugee Youth Project to support its summer academy services for refugee children. Students have served as language partners and helped teachers with reading and writing exercises, and will do so again this summer.
If you’re considering Rustic Pathways summer program and haven’t enrolled, you can make an immediate and lasting impact with the Refugee Education Project.
“More than ever, RYP needs caring volunteers and organizations like Rustic Pathways to support our work,” Kursten said. “Working with Rustic is not just a partnership. It’s a way to provoke change by creating young leaders who advocate for vulnerable populations, including refugees. These issues, often just seen on the news or read about in the paper, become more tangible.
“Rustic volunteers grow to care for our students and realize its not just about stories anymore; it’s about showing love for humanity,” she added. “Through these relationships, young leaders help build a different type of wall—one that unites people to shut out hatred and intolerance. It makes me happy that our partnership provides a bridge for that transformation to take place.”
Already enrolled, but still want to help out? We’ve got you covered. Donate to the Refugee Youth Project. Your donation would provide immediate support for refugee youth:
• $1,000 — two weeks of financial literacy training for 25 high school students
• $400 — supplies for 40 elementary students to participate in STEM programs
• $25 — 500 pencils, enough for one year of programming
Jack has spent his professional career as a writer and editor. Before joining Rustic, he worked as a journalist in Kansas and Colorado, taught English in Swaziland, and transitioned to marketing roles in the Boston and New York startup worlds. Jack is excited to channel his love of storytelling and his appreciation for education as Rustic’s Content Production Manager. When not working, Jack is either watching baseball or planning his next adventure. Jack and his wife, Blythe, live in Brooklyn.