If you can imagine moving to another country with a different language and different culture, you can imagine what it’s like for refugee and immigrant children arriving here in the U.S. With countries of origin torn by war, violence, or poverty, some kids may need a little help.
JFCS knows that these children are smart and ready to catch up, they can learn English quickly, and their futures are at stake. After School Club began as a way to help these kids get their homework done and practice their English skills. But it has become so much more. Participants have learned how Americans have fun, about our sports, arts and holidays. They’ve taken trips to museums and ball games and parks. They are learning about college preparation, growing up and making friends in their new country.
The program’s resounding success has been due in large part to volunteer mentors. Community people with different skills and expertise, and all with a desire to spend their time making a huge difference to some worthy kids, volunteer a couple afternoons a week. And to a person, they report their lives being changed by their connection to this program.
After School Club 2019 is looking for people who would like to become volunteer mentors. If you want to help send a child into a brighter future, please contact Andrew Van Treeck (firstname.lastname@example.org), or fill out a volunteer application here . After School Club begins October 1st, and all volunteers need to attend 2 training sessions (September 21st and 28th, 10 am) at Duquesne University. After School Club meets Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 4:00 – 6:30 in Crafton Heights in the West End. Volunteer schedules are somewhat flexible, but mentors are asked to volunteer at least three times per month.
In these times, it’s easy to feel like one person can’t possibly make a real difference in an increasingly troubled world. But taking action, in whatever way you can, is powerful, useful and perhaps even necessary to build a future worth living in. These kids need you and your skills, and you may also find your life changed forever.